Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ending my time in Mammoth Lakes

All good things must come to an end and my running in Mammoth Lakes ended last night. However, not before I was able to get some great new runs in and make some more wonderful running friends.

Jimmy and I treated ourselves to pizza on Monday, as we got ready for a day of doing nothing. It was my appointment by Jimmy's wife to make sure he did nothing stupid to hurt himself in the days leading up to his Western States 100 Mile run, that had us sleeping in and going to scarf down our first meal of the day around 2 pm. And it was yummy!

After lunch, we saw a store that had a LA Dodges Pinata outside next to the pizza place. Jimmy is a Giants fan so we inquired about the price of the pinata just so Jimmy could beat it. The owner of the store handmade the pinata and one conversation led to another and soon Jenn, Jimmy and I were planning a run for that evening. It seems Jenn was looking for some motivation to get back on the trails and we pushed and prodded enough that we soon had a guide.

Meeting in the evening, with the temperature just right, Jenn led us onto the Shady Rest campground for a nice easy run which was just what we all needed (for different reasons.) Jimmy ran ahead and snapped a picture of us jogging through the trees.

And I fell back and got the rear view!

The irony of Mammoth Lakes being one of those places where runners who are really trying to excel go to live and/or train is that it is not really a running community. Skiing, mountain biking and fly fishing all take precedence in this wooded wonderland. We encountered very few other runners on our trek that day (or any other) and chalked it up to maybe just missing the runners on their own trail runs as their were hundreds of miles to run on in and around Mammoth.

We did make a stop in Footloose Sports upon the suggestion of a friend and within seconds of talking to the one of the owner's (Andrea- a Kiwi who was just the nicest lady!), she was buying a few copies of See Dane Run for her store.

We spent some time chatting and getting to know Andrea's husband (the other owner) and could tell hey just flat out cared about their customers and sports in general, regardless of the genre. I highly recommend paying a visit to their location right on the corner of Main and Old Mammoth Road. (Ironically, when looking at Google Maps for the exact address of Footloose Sports, the picture that showed up on the street level map was a bunch of runners across the street from the store!)

Tuesday came and upon suggestion from my friend Erin, Jimmy and I made the short trip up to June Lake. The suggestion from Erin was well-made. What an absolutely beautiful scene waited us!

The water was the sort of blue you only read about in descriptions of places you never get to see and I knew after our run I would be diving into it (regardless of the fact that it looked like about 12 hours ago it had been ice on the top of a mountain nearby!)

Again doing my best to reel Jimmy in, we hit the nearby trail circumventing the lake and made our own own trail when it ended at the lake itself.

[Waiting for picture from Jimmy]

I finally convinced Jimmy to hit a road nearby and we were treated to even more wonderful views.

[Waiting for picture from Jimmy]

After sucking wind up the hill to around 8,000 feet or so we began to cruise on down to my car situated right by the lake. I showed Jimmy my enthusiasm for jumping into the lake and readied myself for cryogenic freezing.

[Waiting for picture from Jimmy]

Shoes off, shirt eschewed and time to dive in.

[Waiting for picture from Jimmy]

Three runs in three days in Mammoth Lakes and it was time to head back to SLC. I had to leave the next day to go to Sunriver Oregon to the scene of my 25th marathon of the year in 2006: the Pacific Crest Marathon for a three day book signing. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello!

No comments: