Anthony's Wild West 2007 travel blog

View on Emerald Lake walk, Mammoth Lakes

Emerald Lake

Panorama of Emerald Lake

Pesky chipmunks

Lake George

Lunchtime view of TJ Lake


Lake Mary

Damn, the bear missed him, obviously scared of water!

Then again, maybe not...

The average American seems considerably nicer and friendlier than the average Brit, last night's psycho landlady excepted. A park ranger really helped me with accomodation today, letting me use their phone, etc, and lots of people have been like that.

Still, I was pleased to leave Bishop, and even more pleased that the clouds had lifted and the mountains looked magnificent. Everything is so big here! (Though yet to see any really huge people). I was a bit ambivalent about where to go next, but decided to at least have a look at Mammoth Lakes (about 30 miles north of Bishop), and I am so glad I did. Big mountains, covered in forests and interspersed with lakes. All very prety, though a few too many people around as it is the last Bank Holiday weekend of the Summer.

I had planned a big 11 mile walk but changed my mind and decided to do a number of little ones, and I am so glad I did, because as soon as I set off up the hill on the first walk from the trailhead at 9,000 feet I could feel the altitude. But all in all, lots of nice walking and lovely views and an almost overpowering smell of pine.

I had been reading all the warnings about cougars, coyotes, mountain lions and especially bears, and couldn't fully relax even when sitting soaking up the stunning views, especially when I was trying to eat my lunch. Apparently the crafty bears have developed this new trick of terrorising fishermen, who then run away and leave their catch there for the bears to eat. I thought this was half funny, half scary, until on the way back to the car from my last walk this fisherman ran past me yelling about bears, and worst of all, specifically a mother and cubs. There was a lot of commotion, and I could see the bears coming round the lakeside - quite fast - and people moving away from them. Two fishermen below me waded deep into the lake on the basis that bears won't go in water (which turned out not to be true as you can see!) and various other people made dignified retreats. I retreated a short way uphill behind a tree and got my camera out, can't miss an opportunity like this, especially if the fishermen get eaten. I could sell it to CNN for thousands! So in the end they went feet in front of me while I furiously took pictures. It was all quite exciting, though probably relatively safe.

So then off I drove again, great music, awesome views, and I am now at a place called June Lake, about another 30 miles north. I have a cabin by the lake shore, it is rather cool, though not that cheap. I do like these lakeside cabins though, some of which are amazing, probably again as they feature in so many films where people go to hide out; usually a better class of people than those who hide out in motels. And best of all, proper highspeed internet access, so I was able to post both one of my bear pictures and my Area 51 stealth jet one in yesterday's. And a nice meal in a lively place. I could have got drunk there if it wasn't so far to drive home. I think this is quite a funky liberal town in contrast to conservative Bishop. Probably the influence of the snowboarders and skiers, dude.

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