Up North

I don't even know where to start.

First, HI, HELLO! It's been a minute since I blogged, and I need to catch up on posting all my regular work, BUT, I am too excited to share these photos with you.

K- so, like I was saying, I don't know where to start. My friend Laura and I were talking about how we just need to get away from the city and take a trip somewhere. After a ton of instagram research, we decided that, although the lakes were going to be frozen over, and although it was supposed to snow, our hearts were set on going up north towards Mammoth to see the Big Pine Lakes. 

Knowing it would be freezing (for us SoCal girls), Laura was graciously able to borrow an RV for our trip so that we could explore without losing arms and legs. So Friday came, we called in sick, and we took off for the road. If you've never driven the 395 highway at night, I reccomend you do so. We left the day before the full moon was to peak, and wow what a site. The red rocks, the hills, the fields, they were all lit up by the moon on our way over to Baker Creek Campgrounds, and to be honest, it was the easiest, most peaceful drive I've had- well until we got to camp. 

So every good camping story has a hiccup or two, right? Well, we pulled into camp, drove around a bit to find where we wanted to stop, and as this was happening, it started to rain. It was now darker than before, and we weren't really sure where we were going, and couldn't see much. With that said, as we were pulling into where we would call home for the next few days, there was an announced tree, and this tree decided to rip off the awning off the RV we borrowed form her (very generous) friend; #ouch. Anyways, we pulled into camp, went to bed, tried to go to bed?, and hoped in the morning that what had happened was all a bad dream... plot twist, IT WASN'T.

So, we wake up, I go outside to walk Ollie, (OH I GOT TO BRING MY PUP!), and I run into a camper who was taking a morning walk- Jason. I asked Jason if he knew of any RV repair shops around, and after inspecting our damage, he said that if we wanted, he could remove the awning for us... WHAT?!... so over the next half hour Jason got to work and turned our day around by taking off the awning for us so that we could at least salvage the rest of our trip, and we really did do that.

Day 1: We stayed at Baker Campgrounds, in spot 36, right next to a creek. After the awning was removed, and we made some new friends, we hung up some hammocks and thought about what we wanted to do as we waited for our friend Sandra to come meet up in the evening. There is nothing like swing in a hammock, drinking coffee, playing with my camera, petting my dog, and being in the best company, all right next to a running creek, on a Friday at 8am; there really isn't! 

We decided that we wanted to head up to Big Pinecone Forest to see the oldest tree, and explore a bit. We loaded up our RV and headed up the mountain, only to be stopped at the top with some questionable roads. However, we got to get out and get into snow, OLLIE'S FIRST SNOW! After some play time, we headed back to camp, stopped to get some beers, and ended up spending the rest of the afternoon playing Rummikub, drinking beers, eating tamales, and just relaxing. Once the sun set, our new friends came to invite us over for some whiskey, fire, and tunes (seriously the nicest campers out there; if you want to meet good people, go camping!). We walked over for a bit, got to listen to some raw jams, drink really good whiskey IMO  (Bulleit Rye), and just chill.

Day 2: Sandra arrived! So the whole point of this trip was to go hike into Big Pine Lakes, but with some careful reconsideration (since we will be coming back in the summer), we decided that we were going to check out some other locations that were recommended to us by a nice Ranger. Now that we had a truck we could explore in, we first drove back up to Big Pinecone Forest, but didn't make it too much futher until we had to turn around again, not making it to see the older tree in the world (next time Laura), and instead we headed to Eurika Sand Dunes. 

Guys, OMG. The journey is long, and bumpy, but well well worth it. It is only about 35 miles, but you travel on unpaved rock/dirt road for about 18 of those, which really slows you down. It took us around 2 hours, but we made it to the dunes, and OMG, Sandra, thank you thank you for driving! If you want to feel small, you need to get out into the world. 

It was just us and the dunes. We started walking towards them and said we weren't going to go to the top, but as we started climbing, we just couldn't stop. This was by far the best experience for me, and well, Ollie. Ollie was in dog heaven. Sand + open free range to run = happiest dog you've ever seen. I will say though, when we were getting closer to the top, the winds really picked up, and I honestly thought Ollie might fly away, but no, instead he filled his mouth with sand as he was chasing the wind and trying to eat it. It was so awesome to see him do his thing, with the biggest smile on his face. This dog is legit, the best travel buddy a girl can ask for!

Anyways, we explored the dunes, took some great photos, voided all our warranties on all our gear, and headed back towards Mammoth to go to Wild Willy Hot Springs; except, we didn't make it that far because we needed chains, and well, SoCal girls we are (we didn't have any). Back to camp we went to make some dinner, start a fire, and decide on what to do next, which was to head over to Alabama Hills to see the sunrise there. 

Alabama Hills was only about an hour drive from where we were and it was great because we were able to disperse camp. We decided to park right next to Mobius Arch, so that in the morning we could hike there quickly. Before the full moon came up we took some night shots, which turned out pretty cool and then headed back "for warmth", to play Rummikub again, eat all the peanut butter and drink all the beer. All in all, a great end to an awesome day.

Day 3- Well, hiccups are fun right? Sandra woke up to a flat tire, and we together, all woke up to the most beautiful sunrise hitting Mt. Whitney. We were also able to do some exploring while waiting for AAA and take some sick shots. This is definitely a place I want to return to and night hike in the future.

All in all, this was a very much needed escape from the city, and I want to thank Laura, Sandra and Addie (RV owner), so much, for giving me, and Ollie a much needed break from 'real life'. Can't wait for the next trip- hiccup free!

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&& the photos below were taking by Sandra / edited by me; they were too good to not share. Thanks for getting some photos of me Sandra!

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