The day was even hazier, but we hoped for the best when we traveled out to the ski center.
One sight we didn't expect was the San Andreas fault, more correctly, fissure, running under the road. It is an awesome and unsettling sight, but no one warned us about getting out and taking pictures so we did.
|San Andreas fault fissure|
Speaking of animals, about 35 bears live around the town, often holing up in drainage pipes and underneath homes. According to Dave Searles, the local "bear whisperer," they are black bears that are primarily herbivores with a sense of smell so acute they can tell what you've bee eating. You don't have to worry about the more dangerous grizzlies; they've been hunted out. The saying goes that the last grizzly in California is on the state seal.
The ski center is impressive. All credit is given to Dave McCoy, who stubbornly persevered to bring skiing to the area.
We took the gondola to the top, but there wasn't much to be seen ...
That left us with some extra time on our hands and boy, did we fill it... and ourselves.
We stopped in at Mammoth Fun Shop and were immediately transported back to the best part of childhood: games, toys, wonder, make believe and ice cream. In other words, fun. Whoopie cushions, juggling equipment, magic wands, puzzles, illusions, puppets, game sets, look-a-like bugs, snakes, poop. You name it, they have it.
We wandered, exclaiming "Oh, remember this!" or "Look at this!" at every other step.
It was "Wow!" when we hit the ice cream counter where a good three feet was filled with every kind of sprinkle under the sun. Buy a scoop or two and take your choice.
|Camilla Miller holds her latest creation, the Baked Gorilla, a vertical banana split.|
Adults will go for the individual pies and innovative ice cream combinations, if not the array of sprinkles.
Another worthwhile time filler is The Gallery at Twin Lakes, once summer home and studio built in 1934 by famed Western photographer Stephen H. Willard. Considered one of the four great Western photographers - Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Wayne Ballock are the others - Willard combined fine photography with painting to capture what he called "the land of purple shadows." His photos were influential in creation of national parks and monuments such as Joshua Tree and Death Valley.
Willard's cabin is now owned by Sue and Robert Jokis, who welcome visitors and
maintain much it as it was as a piece of living history.
It is a gallery, so if you want a unique souvenir, buy a work of art, perhaps even one of Willard's.