What a great six nights! The first night was at the Mammoth RV Park for a full Salt clean out but then we quickly headed to the Westin Monache for two nights. The service was spectacular, starting with the valets who let us park Salt right out front--keeping us from missing her too much. (How much do you love that picture?! More pictures available by right-mouse-clicking on the title.) Three out of our four travelers loved their sleeping arrangements: The dogs could not get enough of their Heavenly Dog Beds, but Alan’s face fell 10,000 feet when he walked into the room and saw a single (King) bed. His first words were almost a whine, “Only one bed?”.
But we survived in the one bed (easily twice as large as Salt’s bed, I'm just saying), my SAP demo went well and Alan did a great job of delivering me food and beverages all day as I worked. The dogs had a grooming day at the local groomer, sadly Rosco came out looking like a sheep. I guess they don’t get a lot of Wire Fox Terriers out here. I miss Tailwaggers in Laguna!
After two nights of luxury, Alan pried me out of my Heavenly Robe and we drove to Twin Lakes Campground (NFS) selected because it was the only one left open in the area. The campground ranks merely an “ok” in my book: It promises a dump station and showers both of which were closed for the season and it sits a little low in the valley, so you feel like you are almost in a marsh. However, the camp host was a delight and clearly loved her job. We drove up to Lake Mary and loved the campground there—but it was, as promised, closed.
We took two great hikes from Lake Mary, one just under two miles (RT) to Emerald Lake, the other just over two miles to Heart Lake. Both lovely little lakes, full of “brookies” – local word for the small brook trout – none of whom are interested in leaving the water no matter what you dangle in front of them. I did catch one brooky in the creek that feeds Lake Mary, he became our appetizer one night.
The highlight of this area was definitely dinner with Dave & Lisa who treated us to a fantastic meal (and equally fantastic wine selection, starting with Champagne!) at the Tamarack Lodge: A delightfully homey and comfortable place with fantastic food, service, and a wonderful view of Twin Lakes. The company was even better--such a treat to see friends from home!
We are off to the Rock Creek area for a few nights (after Dave & Lisa's description of the Pie in the Sky cafe, we couldn't leave the area without seeking it out even though it means Going Backward) and then up to the June Lake Loop. Our only goal right now is to make it over Monitor Pass before it closes for the winter. I think we have only two or three weeks to do that.
PS: I can’t believe how well Alan’s knee is doing. He claims it even feels better the days following the hikes.