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Fall Fishing


Packer of the Decade

Cycling: The Everest Challenge

Chow Down Above 8,000 feet

September - October 2010


September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


F ro m the Editors by becky st. marie

Vol. 45

publisher Heather McKie Editor-in-Chief Diane Eagle Managing Editor Becky St. Marie ART DIRECTORS Tiffany Henschel Andy Rostar

Rock Creek aspen leaves Photo by Rick Kattleman


all colors are what make the Eastern Sierra famous this time of year. It turns the greens orange and yellow, brilliant hews of gold and burnt auburn, all the crayon colors of autumn. We could fill the whole magazine just with photos, we received so many to choose from. So we made the photo gallery bigger this issue, just to show off all the talent we receive and the beauty that surrounds us. We start off with a great fall classic, fishing derbies. Dana Nichols shares where to go and what to do to get in on the action. She also writes about a special event on Sept. 11 to benefit the Bishop Union High School Foundation for Excellence. This farm-to-table dinner by a French chef is sure to elevate the palates of locals and earn money for a great cause. To elevate your pet’s palate, Tiffany Henschel shares recipes for dog treats, homemade goodies that are healthy and easy to make. In this issue’s How To, learn about making a difference in the local outdoors through Friends of the Inyo. Hans Ludwig fills us in on the beating many of our favorite locales take during the summer and how teamwork can clean them up. We also bring an excerpt from a new book: “The Illuminated Landscape.” This anthology of the Sierra Nevada has a broad range of stories from past to present along


September | October 2010

the vast span of these mountains. For an intense adventure, Steve Schmunk brings us photos of a cycling event held locally. The Everest Challenge takes cyclists up to elevations higher than those ridden on the Tour de France. Many locals take on this challenge that is part of the USA Cycling calendar. While it may not be the Everest Challenge, Joseph Merriman takes a break from driving by riding up to Laurel Lakes on his “trusty” bike to see the fall colors. He proves that the effort is well worth it. Also well worth the effort is getting to some of the high elevation restaurants in the High Sierra. Never heard of Pie in the Sky or had an enormous pancake at the Whitney Portal Store? Then don’t miss Barbara Steinberg’s article “Chow Down Above 8,000 Feet.” As long as winter doesn’t come too early to many of these places, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful scenery and great food. Lesley Allen takes a subject some might consider ugly, even a nuisance, and makes it beautiful – buckwheat. For a bit about the people who live here, Claiborne Mitchell writes about Jennifer Roeser, a local packer who is living the tradition of packers of yesteryear, as well as working to continue the trade in modern times. And in Local Life we have Chris Cooper, a Mammoth High School English teacher who inspires his students every year.

Photography Lesley Allen Ken Beck Joe Blommer Kerry Brownlie Karen Chang Sharon Crosby Diane Eagle Cory Freeman Tiffany Henchel Cheryl Hogan Pat Holland Rick Kattleman Roberta McIntosh Betty McShane Mike McWilliams Joseph Merriman Ed Nahin Steve Schmunk Barbara L. Steinberg John Stow Writers Tiffany Henschel Hans Ludwig Joseph Merriman Claiborne Mitchell Dana Nichols Barbara L. Steinberg Project Manager & Advertising Patti Cole Ad info: Ph: 760-934-3929 Calling all writers and photographers! Mammoth Sierra Magazine is accepting story submissions of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, adventure, and more, as well as photo submissions, all related to the Eastern Sierra. Send your submissions to, or PO Box 3929, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. You can also drop submissions by the Mammoth Times offices on the second floor of the Sierra Center Mall at 452 Old Mammoth Road. Photos must be 300 dpi and at least 5x7, submit via the e-mail address above or on a disk. Call 760-934-3929 for more information. Payment for accepted submissions is paid upon publication. Send an SASE if you want materials returned. ©2010. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher. Domestic subscription rates for one year are $60. Bulk deliveries and single copies available upon request.


Mammoth Sierra Magazine is printed on 10% recycled (postconsumer waste) paper using only soy based inks. Our printer meets or exceeds all Federal Resource Conservation Act (RCRA) Standards and is a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council.

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

Contents 26 | Feature Chow Down at 8,000 feet: High Altitude Eating Cover Summer Meadow, South of Bridgeport, October 2009 Photo by Pat Holland

10 | How To

Make a Difference: Volunteering with Friends of the Inyo

12 | In the Kitchen

This Page Kerry Brownlie Autumn colors along Silver Lake

September | October 2010

Lifestyle 6 | “Savour the Sierra” 7 | Fall Fishing Frenzy 8 | Packer of the Decade

Homemade Dog Treats

14 | Best Of

18 | Photo Gallery Fall Colors

22 | Trip Report

Cycling: The Everest Challenge

24 | On the Road

An Autumn Bike Ride to Laurel Lakes

30 | Trip Report Buckwheat

from the book “The Illuminated Landscape”

32 | Marketplace

16 | Calendar

Chris Cooper

34 | Local Life Mammoth Sierra Magazine


L i f e style By dana nichols

On Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, a large group of hungry, lucky people will gather ’round the table to raise $20,000 for Bishop Union High School. Photo courtesy Foundation for Excellence

The Eastern Sierra Gets a

Farm-to-Table Dinner Despite being a first-year event, Bishop’s new “Savour the Sierra” has started out with some positive signs of prosperity. Celebrity chef Pascal Olhats signed on early and the $500-a-head sous chef segment of the fund raiser sold out in just four days, almost immediately raising the cachet of this unprecedented fund raiser to a high level. And of course there’s the farm, Rick and Lauralee Devore’s organic Apple Hill Ranch, where bountiful fruits and vegetables continue to bloom with success. On Saturday, Sept. 11, after the six sous chefs help prepare the gourmet meal, more attendees will arrive to eat, gobble, chew, savor, taste, and delight in the joys of a Bishop farm dinner. “Farm Dinners are a growing phenomenon throughout the country,” says Tina Cocherell, board president of the Foundation for Excellence, where the 6

September | October 2010

proceeds will go. “Many participants in other places in the country have described as one of the most enjoyable, inspirational, and delicious meals they’ve ever had. People gather for a gourmet meal, mostly prepared on site, and dine at elegantly set tables located right out in the fields. The dinners are truly a feast for the senses.” Pascal Olhats is a trailblazing French chef whose restaurant Tradition by Pascal in Newport Beach, Calif., has been rated by Zagat’s as the #1 restaurant in Orange County for more than 10 years. He is a personal friend of Foundation associates Vivian and Dave Patterson. The evening will begin at 4 p.m. with a tour of the farm, followed by a one-of-akind dining experience that will combine traditions from the South of France with locally grown ingredients. “The students at

the high school are raising several lambs and we will be catching Alpers Trout along with some locally caught venison,” explains Cocherell. “The dinner will be paired with a wonderful selection of French wines and much of the food will come from the gardens that the guests have just toured.” The Foundation for Excellence, celebrating 25 years in 2010, is dedicated to helping Bishop Union High School achieve academic excellence. Dana Nichols is a freelance writer who has lived in Mammoth for six years. With roots in Los Angeles, she knows the 395 drive like the back of her hand, and is happiest when she’s headed north, home to Mammoth. She has contributed to Mammoth Sierra Magazine since 2007 and frequently writes about adventure travel on Mammoth Sierra Magazine

Fall Fishing Frenzy

Some might call the 65 miles between Bridgeport and Convict Lake a fisherman’s paradise, and during September and October, they’ll find six fishing events there. Not only are there opportunities to win some big bucks, but the fishing in Mono County is expected to be so good this fall, the fun of the chase ought to be reward enough. “In the fall the fish gorge themselves on food to stock up for the winter, and they are nice

and fat, which makes for good fights,” says Mammoth Lakes guide Peter Benchetler, who has fished local waters all his life. “Try pulling some big streamer patterns and you could get yourself the fish of a lifetime.” Many of the derbies have kids’ categories, so everyone can participate, and if you’re just starting the little tykes out, consider Free Fishing Day (Sept. 6, 2010), when the Dept. of Fish and Game declares a Mono Countywide hall pass on fishing licenses. Hankering to try something new? Bridgeport’s first annual “Extravaganza” (details below) is sure to go off, says Benchetler, “I like Bridgeport because the big browns are getting ready to spawn so they come out of their summer hiding spots.” Just remember: these events are held later in the year when the fish are big, so that translates into one very important thing for humans: dress warm!

Fish among the fall colors at Gull Lake. Enter your catch in the “Fish of the Month” Derby through November 15. Photo by Cheryl Hogan

fall schedule September 2-7

Mono Village Labor Day Fishing Derby Upper Twin Lakes, Bridgeport, Calif. The last of four fishing derbies hosted by Annett’s Mono Village this season, offering cash and prizes in several categories. or 760932-7071.

September 4-5

Trout Fest Convict Lake, 10 miles south of Mammoth

Proceeds from this friendly gathering (entry fee is $20) go to Bridgeport’s Fourth of July fund. Two divisions (conventional and fly fishing) compete to win prizes. Later, everyone’s invited to the potluck dinner on Saturday evening. greet.php.

October 23-24

A Labor Day tradition with up to $3,000 in prizes. Entry fee ($40 adults, $30 kids) includes gourmet BBQ and music on Saturday, plus T-shirt, cap and pin. or 760-9343800.

October 23-25

American Hunting and Outdoors 1st Annual Meet and Greet September | October 2010

Fishing Extravaganza Big Meadow Lodge, Bridgeport, Calif.

Sheriff Morrison’s Bounty Convict Lake, 10 miles south of Mammoth Big money prizes at this tagged fish “money tournament” include $10,000, $5,000, $1,000, $500, $250, $100 in cash. Entry fee ($60) includes gourmet BBQ and music on Saturday, plus T-shirt, cap, pin. or 760-934-3800.

October 1 - November 15 Ambush at the Lake Series Convict Lake, 10 miles south of Mammoth

This fall fishing derby series offers plenty of prizes, plus commemorative T-shirt, cap and pin for entrants. $30 for the series, plus, participants get into Sheriff Morrison’s Bounty tournament and BBQ for $20. or 760-934-3800.

Through November 15 “Fish of the Month” Derby Gull Lake Marina, J une Lake Loop, Calif.

Cash prizes go to the biggest catch at Gull Lake on a monthly basis. Hook one over 3 pounds in a Marina rental boat for a spin ‘o the Wheel of Prizes. www. or 760-648-7539.

Mammoth Sierra Magazine



Packer of the Decade: Living Tradition PACK STATION: The base of operations for an Outfitter who transports freight into the backcountry via pack animals. Outfitters are located within the boundaries of public lands and operate in Wilderness areas. Since the late 1800s there has been a dirt road up into McGee Creek Canyon and since the 1920s there has been a Pack Station nestled three miles up the Canyon. Each summer season for more than 30 years Jennifer Roeser’s family has run the Pack Station out of McGee and the last mile of the road is still dirt. It is no small task to set up business every year come May; taking down shutters, setting up corrals, checking water conduits, cleaning propane ducts, clearing endless fallen branches, moving in horses and mules and generally stirring life into her summer headquarters after a hard winter high in the Sierra. Often with a new band of wranglers, Roeser prepares and warms the main house for a four-month summer season that will see enthusiastic visitors and families wanting to horseback ride in the Canyon and be packed 8

September | October 2010

far into the backcountry. The fast-paced rhythm of overseeing a busy Pack Station is made from the outset and it’s non-stop until the fall colors and snow come to McGee. Roeser is a quiet force living the lifestyle of the packer and is an inspiration to countless young people whom she has mentored over the years and is beloved by her peers and community. Her depth of feeling for the mountains and knowledge of the trails of the Sierra are a reference point for anyone traveling into McGee from whichever direction. As a packer, there is little time for frills yet Roeser is poised, gracious and has a ready smile that will beam at you from under her ever-present wide-brimmed hat. She knows each of her famously well-tended stock, how they interact with one another and plans rides accordingly.

She can pack a mule faster and better than most, she can kick higher than is reasonable, cook up a storm in a Dutch oven, ride any mount presented to her and be deep into the canyon – with a string of mules – before you know she’s gone, smiling. Her sense of humor and fun pervade the seriousness of being integral to the legacy of our pioneering settlers. She has sat on the Boards of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, the Inyo County Water Commission and the National Forest Recreation Association. She is held with respect as a packer’s spokesperson and public access advocate testifying in front of congressional committees on behalf of the packers. Her dignity and thoughtfulness are traits many aspire to and these qualities coupled with a strong work ethic make for a powerful argument that it is indeed possible to live your dream. Mammoth Sierra Magazine

Opposite Page: Above: Jennifer Roeser on McGee Pass, going in empty to pick up a group in Upper Fish Creek. Below: Roeser rests during a ride. Photos courtesy McGee Creek Pack Station

Someone recently commented, “Jennifer lives a lifestyle that everyone wants a slice of.” It takes extraordinary passion, commitment, determination, physical and spiritual strength and an incredible amount of staying power to overcome whatever challenge may be presented at a moment’s notice… Mother Nature can be unforgiving! Roeser’s professional approach to conservation is founded from the ground up, not from behind a desk, and she can be as fierce as a mama bear when it comes to defending what is correct with regard to resource protection and wilderness management. Her respect for people, animals and the wilderness is legendary. Modesty is another quality endemic to this sophisticated backcountry woman and she would never mention that the Eastern High Sierra Packers Association and Bishop Mule Days were deeply proud to recently recognize her as the first ever Packer of the Decade. The historic tradition of packing is an art form, yet the business of packing is proving to be a hard one to sustain. Thus the rough and tumble business of packing at McGee has been enhanced with a private tent cabin by the creek where people can stay at the Station as a way of sharing this magical lifestyle. Roeser is fearless and charming, and when you do take the McGee Creek turn off U.S. 395 up to the Pack Station with the hope of meeting her you may well find a wrangler nodding toward the Sierra and suggesting she is up there somewhere taking in a string of mules or bringing out some backcountry visitors and won’t be back ‘til sunset … you’ll know she’s happily lined up in her element. Writer’s note: Roeser was not interviewed for this article, and I know she will blush and bow her head. Claiborne Mitchell is a friend of Jennifer’s and is full of respect for the Packers of the Eastern Sierra. September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


H o w to... By hans ludwig

Make A Difference:

Volunteering with Friends of the Inyo

Millions of visitors from all over the world come to the Eastern Sierra to recreate in the Inyo National Forest – a national treasure with 650,000 acres enclosing the highest and lowest spots in the lower 48, where you can access desert to alpine and every type of environment in between. It’s an international

Friend of the Inyo Paul MacFarland puts in some time at the office during the Convict Lake stewardship day last summer. Photos courtesy MLTPA

destination for hikers, fishermen, climbers, backcountry skiers, bikers and backpackers. But, as Kim Stravers, development and communications manager at Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access, notes, “The net impact of all that visitation is that the trails and destinations for recreation suffer – like a well-loved stuffed animal, the fur rubs off, you lose an eye... whether you’re just going for a stroll, going fishing, or on a week-long backcountry trip, it’s going to have an impact. These places are a magnet for visitors, and as the numbers increase, the impact increases.” In an era of tight budgets, the Forest Service doesn’t have the capacity to constantly maintain every trail and amenity in such a massive area – which is where local non-profit groups such as Friends of the Inyo and the aforementioned MLTPA, user groups like the High Sierra Striders or the equestrian

club, local businesses like Footloose Sports – and hopefully people like you – step in to make a difference through stewardship, volunteering to work with the Forest Service to maintain and improve the trails and amenities that need some extra attention. If you’re interested in volunteering, Friends of the Inyo is the place to go; the well-respected, Bishop-based non-profit focuses on exploration, preservation, and stewardship of public lands in the Eastern Sierra by connecting people to the places on the ground. The staff at FOI interfaces with the Forest Service in the spring to determine which recreation areas are most in need of maintenance, outlines a work program with the Forest, sets up volunteer stewardship events, and then coordinates with Stravers and the MLPTA to handle the public outreach component and get the word out to the public.

Opposite Page: Local volunteers return from celebrating National Trails Day... on the trail. Right: Forest thinning for fuel reduction around Horseshoe Lake.

The end result is a broad range of opportunities to give back to places that matter, from single-day sessions like this year’s Summer of Stewardship Trail Days program in the Mammoth area, to weeklong pack-supported stewardship vacations at classic (and impacted) Sierra wilderness destinations. It all boils down to work on the ground – and it is work: clearing fallen timber, putting up signs, picking up trash around a lakeshore. But you get fed, you could win some gear at the raffle, and you’ll be in the same spots where you’d be recreating anyway, working and hanging out with other people that care about them, too. And fixing up erosion damage on the Duck Pass Trail or beneath Crystal Crag is probably a little nicer than most folks’ offices... For Stravers and the consensus-focused MLTPA, that social aspect is one of the biggest side benefits for everyone: “Historically, there’s been some conflict between different groups like mountain bikers and equestrians – this is a great chance for them to work together to improve things that they both benefit from; when people work together they’re going to have more respect and positive interactions when they run into each other out there on the trail. You get to meet other people that are passionate about these places, and that might expand things for you.”

September | October 2010

This past summer’s stewardship projects included multiple spots in the Mammoth Lakes Basin area, Convict Lake, the Panorama Dome Trail, with extended wilderness trips to patch up well-loved stuffed animals like Thousand Island Lake and Steelhead Lake up McGee Canyon. If you want to get involved or learn more about making a difference through volunteering for stewardship projects, go to or Hans Ludwig is a Senior Correspondent for Powder Magazine, where he writes a monthly column on the glories of Ski Town Living, “Jaded Local.”

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


P e a k Eats

I n t h e K i t c h e n by tiffany henschel

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September | October 2010

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Give that unconditional love back to your dog. For those who love making homemade treats for friends and loved ones, why not extend that luxury to your dog? Fancy treats for dogs are becoming increasingly popular. It seems like we see treats for dogs in pet stores that look good enough for humans to eat, and many of them are. Making snacks for your favorite K-9 definitely has its advantages. First, ingredients can be adjusted to fit the needs of your dog’s diet. Some dogs have food allergies and restrictions to certain food groups such as meats, dairy or wheat. You can choose what to put in them and feel confident that your dog can enjoy the treat without worrying about a reaction. Secondly, dogs love food. That being said, there are some dogs that are extremely picky eaters. But for the most part, they love treats of all kinds, even if they’re not perfect. Dogs don’t seem to care much about presentation. So, if you’re not the perfect cook, and the treats come out burnt, lumpy, or bland, they will still happily eat every last bite, their tail wagging the entire time. Now who can make burnt and bland chocolate chip cookies for a party and still get the same positive reaction? Here are a few recipes to try out. Some stores sell dog bone-shaped cookie cutters to use with your recipes. Otherwise, you can use cupcake tins, the rim of a glass, or scoop the dough in spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet, and even break them up into little pieces, put them in a plastic bag, and use them for training. Feel free to experiment with and add different ingredients, such as fish oil for a healthy coat. Remember, any type of flour can be used depending on your dog’s needs. Just be sure that these treats don’t become main dishes, and stay away from the toxic food list, such as chocolate, onion, garlic, raisins, and grapes.

Quick and Easy 4-ingredient Dog Treats Ingredients: • 2 1/4 cups flour • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée

• 2 eggs • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions: Mix all ingredients except wheat flour. Stir in flour slowly, as consistency will be different depending on the flour used. Arrange in small spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for approximately 20 minutes and golden brown, or longer depending on elevation or how crunchy you would like them. Mammoth Sierra Magazine

Peanut Butter & Banana Bites (Meat-free) Ingredients: • 2 bananas, mashed • 1/2 cup peanut butter • 1 1/2 cups quick oats • 2 1/2 cups flour

(rice or soy flour can be substituted) • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1 egg

Directions: Mix all ingredients except wheat flour. Stir in flour slowly, as consistency will be different depending on the flour used. Arrange in small spoonfuls on cookie sheet or use roller to cut out shapes. The dough will stay in the same shape when it’s baked. Bake at 350° for approximately 20 minutes and golden brown, or longer depending on elevation or how crunchy you would like them.

September | October 2010

“Kong” Ice Cream (for stuffing) Ingredients: • 1/2 banana • 3 tbsp. organic, non-fat yogurt

• 1 teaspoon honey • 2 tbsp. flour • Spoonful of kibble

Directions: Mix all ingredients together, place inside the toy of your choice, and place in the freezer. This treat is great if you’re going to be away from home for a few hours and need to give your dog some entertainment. If you’re on the go, try melting string cheese in a Kong for 20 seconds in a microwave, then roll toy around to distribute cheese and let cool.

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


B e s t of

Then the Clouds Burst An Excerpt from “The Illuminated Landscape”

When “The Illuminated Landscape” landed on our desk we poured through the pages looking for stories specific to our neck of the woods, the Eastern Sierra, specifically Inyo and Mono counties. We were enchanted by a story titled “My Mountain” by Jack Stewart, also known by his Paiute name Hoavadunaki. We mountain climbed with Clarence King, a well-known Sierra Nevada explorer, and were fascinated by Bev Ortiz’s tale of Julia Parker, a Kashia Pomo who weaves baskets and the history of her Native people. Finally, we discovered “The Secret Sierra” by David Gilligan, a description of five evenings in the Sierra. All the stories in this 427-page tribute to the Sierra are well worth reading and picking just one was difficult. Enjoy! – the editors

David Gilligan, from “The Secret Sierra” It had been storming every afternoon in Humphreys Basin [in the southeastern corner of the John Muir Wilderness, west of Bishop] for the past four days. They were strange storms, blowing in from the east instead of the west where summer thunderstorms typically come from in the High Sierra. These suggested something bigger happening down south, perhaps off the coast of Baja. Every day I watched as the clouds 14

September | October 2010

brewed up, huge and magnificent, over the crest of the range. They might drop hints of a storm by early afternoon, but their true power was always revealed by sunset. The clouds blazed peach, scarlet, then crimson with the fading light. Opposite the setting sun, smoke had been smudging the evening sky for three days against the outline of the White Mountains. A fire burned below the mountain crest, somewhere down in the Owens Valley, seven thousand feet below. The smoke played with the evening light, turning it from pallid yellow-brown to brilliant tangerine. By nightfall, only a few cloud

wisps remained in the indigo sky. Eventually, these too would dissipate, leaving the crystalline stars to sparkle through until dawn. The fifth evening began just as the others had, but the air had an unusual quality. The darkening clouds enshrouded Mounts Humphreys and Emerson. As the entire eastern sky grew a deeper, darker charcoal hue, the steel gray of the Sierran granite was illuminated, washed over in the clear golden light of the setting sun. Then the clouds burst. The rain fell in wide streaks, like gold dust sprinkling down from a great trove enshrouded by the billowing thunderheads. In four separate places the rain came down like this, each shower equal in such tremendous quality. Then, as if a long-forgotten god had returned to prove his omniscience, a rainbow appeared. As the fullness of its arc came into view, it seemed a bridge, spanning the ineffable distance between darkness and light. I felt as if I were sitting at the center point around which different worlds revolved, touching each other in a kind of transient embrace. I was in the middle. If there was magic in the world, this was it. It rained into the night. Thunder and lightning joined the ensemble periodically, as an extended aftermath of the evening. I lay awake, realizing my love for this place. I have been lucky, for I have never doubted this love. Something about these mountains draws me to them. The Sierra Nevada has bestowed upon me some of the greatest Mammoth Sierra Magazine

gifts of my life. Not all have been joyous and beautiful. At times I have been terrified, emptied, afraid for my life. Other lessons have been quiet in their telling, and soft in their teaching. Such nights serve as reminders that amidst a world that sometimes seems impossibly confusing, somewhere on earth the sun is sending rich, golden light across landscapes stark with primeval antiquity. I was seeking to experience such a land in that light, and if possible, to tell about it. Sleep came without my noticing. I couldn’t remember any dreams, and don’t think they would have been possible after such an experience. The clouds broke away in the morning to reveal the sun. I awoke to the rosy fingers of dawn and looked out across the wide glacial basin. The first sound was that of water trickling out from beneath a late-lying snowbank. September, and still the snows of El Niño’s winter lingered at 11,000 feet. I looked for the Mountain Bluebirds. They came every morning with the sun, perching on huge erratic boulders to view the land before them,

I awoke to the rosy fingers of dawn and looked out across the wide glacial basin.

flitting out to catch insects for breakfast. It was only minutes before they arrived. Yesterday a female blackbird had joined their company. Today she did not return. I sat quietly and watched the birds, their blue matching that of the sky, shining in the long light of morning. And a thought came to mind how much I cherished this place, and the life I’ve made here. For me, no other life is imaginable. As a naturalist, I am a practitioner of natural history. One of the ways I see the land is as a story. Learn the language, and we can

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read the story. Human civilization may also be seen as a story, but as Henry David Thoreau stated over a century ago, there have been enough champions of civilization, and my interest lies elsewhere. Human history indicates with reasonable certainty that such civilizations will at least be around tomorrow and the next day. No rush to tell those tales. Wild land, however, is in grave, immediate danger the world wide. We need to tell the stories of these places before they are gone. Perhaps, if we are lucky, we can even stay the danger for awhile. Reprinted from “The Illuminated Landscape: A Sierra Nevada Anthology” edited by Gary Noy and Rick Heide. Copyright © 2010. Published by Heyday in Berkeley, California. Heyday will publish a new book by David Gilligan in spring 2011: “Rise of the Ranges of the Light: Landscapes and Change in the Mountains of California.” They call it “a riveting examination of the natural history of the entire world, focusing on California and the Sierra Nevada.”

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Fall Colors

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September | October 2010

Through September 6 Tour of Mammoth Bike Challenge with Footloose Sports Through September 15 Every Wednesday Women specific Bike Rides with Footloose Sports September through Nov. 15 “Fish of the Month” Derby at Gull Lake Marina in June Lake September 2-6 Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair in Bishop September 2-7 Mono Village Labor Day Fishing Derby at Upper Twin Lakes in Bridgeport September 3-6 Summer Sundown Concert Weekend at the Village at Mammoth September 4 Bridgeport Founder’s Day “Top of the Hill” Show & Shine Car Show and Barbecue September 4-5 Trout Fest at Convict Lake September 4-6 14th Annual Labor Day Doubles Tennis Tournament 41st Annual Labor Day Festival of the Arts at Sam’s Wood Site September 5 Fiddlin’ Pete Dinner Concert at Pokonobe Lodge

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

September 6 Mammoth Rock Race Free Fishing Day in Mono County September 9 Snowcreek Nine and Dine September 10-12 Hop n’ Sage Harvest Festival & Carbo Load September 11 SOS Volunteer Trail Day Convict Lake “Savour the Sierra” hosted by Foundation for Excellence High Sierra Fall Century Ride September 12 30th Annual Tioga Pass Run String Theory at Pokonobe Lodge September 16-19 Bridgeport Vigilantes Eastern High Sierra Annual Shoot

Historic Knight Wheel in fall Photo by Sharon Crosby

September 17-19 Millpond Music Festival

Fourth Annual Picken Ranch Summer Biathlon

September 18 Moeben Ultra Marathon 50K & 25K

October 1-November 15 Ambush at the Lake Series Convict Lake

September 25 Oktoberfest at the Village at Mammoth

October 8-10 Lone Pine Film Festival

September 25-26 Everest Challenge Cycling Race and Ride

October 9 Snowcreek Nine and Dine

September 26 Closing Day of the Mammoth Musuem/Hayden Cabin

October 10 Convict Lake Chili Cook Off

October 23-24 Sheriff Morrison’s Bounty Fishing Tournament at Convict Lake October 23-35 American Hunting and Outdoors 1st Annual Meet and Greet Fishing Extravaganza in Bridgeport October 29-31 Little Fete’ Pumpkin Trick or Treat at the Village at Mammoth

For a complete calendar visit

You’ve known them for so long. Now something has changed.

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(760) 876-2211 September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


Clockwise, from top left: Lundy Canyon after a dusting of snow in early October Photo by Joe Blommer

Dunderberg Peak close to Bridgeport Photo by Ken Beck

On the June Lake Loop near Silver Lake looking back toward Carson Peak, October 2009 Photo by Karen Chang

Leaves in October, 2008, Bishop Creek Photo by Mike McWilliams

Aspens shed their leaves, fall 2009 in Parker Creek area. Photo by John Stow

A tree at our home in Bishop changes colors in the fall. Photo by Ed Nahin

fall colors

photo gallery

Clockwise from top left: Aspen leaves change color near an abandoned mine structure in the Eastern Sierra. Photo by Cory Freeman Fall Color, Middle Fork, Bishop Creek Photo by Roberta McIntosh Yosemite fall colors Photo by Betty McShane

fall colors D e s tinations

Deluxe Suites / Close to the Lifts, Lakes and The Village at Mammoth Fireplaces / Hot Spa / Swimming Pool (summer) / Recreation Room

Free Hi-Speed Internet Service in most units SUMMER Pay for 5 Stay 7 No Hidden Fees To View Unit Interiors or Book Online

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September | October 2010 Mammoth Sierra Magazine

LIFE insurance that makes it WORTH LIVING. Protect your family for less, build cash value or even get your premiums back if the death benefit has not been paid out at the end of the level premium period.

Linda L Wright, Agent Insurance Lic#: 0753641 437 Old Mammoth Road Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 Bus: 760-934-7575


September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


Cycling: The Everest Challenge Tr i p R eport by steve schmunk

Steve Schmunk bio


September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

Held in the mountains of Bishop, the Everest Challenge is the hardest two-day USA Cycling race drawing competitors from all over the world. This page: Top: Fall color of late September greets the racers as they pass Rock Creek Lake near the top of climb one. (Local racer Jodie Aas) Left: After nearly seven hours of riding, local racer Scott Busby approaches the 17 percent grades below South Lake. Opposite Page, clockwise from top: Six images of Scott Busby are stitched into a panorama at the base of Waucoba Canyon, the 8-mile long second climb of day two. The first group of day two tackles the nine-mile climb to Glacier Lodge, which at eight percent is the steepest of both days. (Local racer Dennis Phillips, back center) Climb one is a 22-mile climb to Mosquito Flats that tops out at 10,250 ft. elevation in the shadow of Bear Creek Spire. (Local racer Jerry Oser) Jerry Oser starts up climb one, day one on Lower Rock Creek Road. September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


O n the R oad story and photos BY JOSEPH MERRIMAN


Laurel Lakes A Mammoth Lakes Autumn Adventure It was a simple decision to make my trip to the Upper and Lower Laurel Lakes a fall adventure. I knew few people would make the difficult five-mile drive to the lakes after the Labor Day weekend. And I hoped no early fall snowstorms would make the road impassable. My anticipation grew as sunny days and clear, cold nights followed one after the other in the mountains around Mammoth. As an added bonus I would be able to test my physical fitness. For instead of driving a 4WD vehicle or an off-road motorcycle on the rocky road up to the lakes basin I decided to ride my trusty red, white and blue mountain bike and enjoy the fall colors at a slower pace. The canyon I would be riding up was cut thousands of years ago by the Laurel Creek Glacier as it swept down out of the Sierra Nevada mountains just four miles from where Mammoth Lakes is located today. As the surrounding world slowly changed 24

September | October 2010

the glacier shrank and finally disappeared. In the bowl-shaped glacial cirque that gave birth to the Laurel Creek Glacier an oasis with two hidden lakes was born. The unmaintained jeep road recreationists use in the 21st century to reach the lakes at 9,850 feet was built in 1955 to serve an almost forgotten tungsten mine. The mine shaft was tunneled above the lakes into a cliff so steep the miners had to use ropes and ladders to reach it. And to make mining even more difficult snow could block the road as late as July fourth. Unsurprisingly, the mine was abandoned without ever showing a profit. The miner’s loss is the recreationist’s gain. During the summer months, lupine, Indian paintbrush, scarlet pentstemon and Western pennyroyal climb along Laurel Canyon from the desert’s edge at 7,200 feet. In late summer and early fall, the white blossoms of the prickly poppy and the yellow flowers of rabbit brush bloom. Along the creek and up the canyon walls, aspen trees grow in thick groves. A side road with sheltered campsites

meanders through the aspen trees near Laurel Creek. Deer, coyote and marmot all live in the canyon. As you ascend, the view constantly changes. Panoramas of Mammoth Lakes, Laurel Mountain, Bloody Mountain and a clear view of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area all appear. In the distance you can see the Sierra Crest, which forms the eastern boundary of Yosemite National Park. Yes, mountain biking up this long, rough road was tough, and the descent back down fast and fun. But the high points of the trip weren’t just seeing the aspen trees in all their fall grandeur or racing down the road as fast as possible. They included watching the few autumn visitors quietly enjoying themselves fishing for trout, taking pictures, or simply hiking and sightseeing from their hidden campsites. This secluded lakes basin is truly one of the Sierra’s hidden gems. The display of fall colors is a photographer’s delight, the campsites along Laurel Creek are primitive but sheltered by aspen trees and the 4WD trail Mammoth Sierra Magazine

Opposite Page: A view up the canyon at the turnoff from Sherwin Creek Road Above: Fishing in Laurel Lakes Basin Right: Easy riding midway up the canyon

head is only minutes from all the comforts the town of Mammoth Lakes offers. Laurel Lakes Road is easily accessed from Mammoth. Drive through town on Old Mammoth Road. Turn left onto unpaved Sherwin Creek Road across from Mammoth Creek Park. Drive 4.1 miles down Sherwin Creek Road to the junction with Laurel Lakes Road. The junction is clearly marked on the right by a Forest Service sign. Laurel Lakes Road is designated 4S86. The sign recommends high clearance vehicles. Information can be obtained at the Forest Service Visitor Center in Mammoth Lakes on Main Street/Highway 203 just 0.3 of a mile east of Old Mammoth Road. Author Joe Merriman lives in Mammoth with his wife Maxine. Employed as a waiter, bartender, cook, schoolteacher, forest ranger and EMT in his younger days, Joe now supports his outdoor adventures and freelance writing by working as a registered nurse. His seasons as a forest ranger exposed him to illness and injuries, which led to a career choice in medicine; his love of adventure books and magazines inspired him to write about the outdoors himself. September | October 2010


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F e a t ure by barbara l. steinberg

Chow Down

Above 8,000 Feet Are you hungry up in the mountains? Does all that fresh air have you feeling ravenous? There’s food at those higher elevations, good food! And get this: Did you know the body’s metabolism changes at higher elevation and you don’t put on weight? Believe it or not, Google “high elevation weight loss.” If true, then this factoid lends itself perfectly to the discussion of high-altitude gastronomic delights. Translation: eating food above the 8,000-foot elevation. Not restaurants you just happen to pass along the road or mountaintop bistros reached via gondola, but establishments that require extra effort to dine there. Some outdoor enthusiasts arrive simply by chance and the cafés provide the answer to the human hunger factor. For others, the “chow down” is a deliberate act to partake of some legendary chili or an outrageous wedge of homemade pie.

Whitney Portal Store

This concept materialized when someone mentioned the Whitney Portal Store’s “world-famous” pancake. Served at an elevation of 8,365 feet, these hubcap-sized flapjacks (hence the singular pancake) are worth the drive. Doug and Earlene Thompson, owners for 23 years, created the famous flaps for bike riders who wanted a cheap carbo load. “We could make them big and they were $1 each back then,” Doug said. The recipe came from a guy Doug worked with in Los Angeles. The secret: vanilla, cinnamon, Crusty’s pancake mix, 1/3normal amount of water, and almost every

pancake is made from a fresh batch of batter. Today Whitney’s colossal griddlecake sells for $3.95; still a bargain and worth every heavenly bite. Because it’s such a novelty, regulars try and trick first-timers into ordering more than one. Sample one with a side of eggs, potatoes, toast, and bacon. Or check out an order of hand-cut French fries cooked in peanut oil. Yum. Now that’s a carbo load. Whitney Portal Store is open from May to the last week of October. The 13-mile drive from Lone Pine includes spectacular views of the Owens Valley and Alabama Hills.

Left: The author at Whitney Portal Store Right: The famous and filling, Whitney Portal Store hubcap-sized pancake Photos by Barbara L. Steinberg

Pie in the Sky

Just an example of the many varieties of pie available at Pie in the Sky. Photo by Tiffany Henschel September | October 2010

Heading north on U.S. 395 turn left at Tom’s Place. The granite walls of Rock Creek Canyon will dazzle you as you climb to 9,700 feet and Rock Creek Lake Resort and Pie in the Sky ... the name says it all! Owner Sue King has reigned over her pies for 32 seasons. The pies are a resort tradition dating back to the 1940s. Previous owners used canned filling, but Sue is “kind of a purist” and makes her pies from scratch with all fresh ingredients. Of course, these days it’s a lot easier to get fresh produce. Sue buys all kinds of fresh berries and freezes them. Pie in the Sky cranks out 15 to 20 different kinds of pie on a seasonal basis. The most popular is Mammoth Sierra Magazine


F e a ture probably boysenberry, along with fresh peach or nectarine. The cream pies are a big hit especially around 10 a.m. From August to October the cheddar pear is “really” popular. Pies are made fresh every day. They start baking late afternoon so there is something available early in the morning. There are definitely challenges to high-elevation cooking. Sue had to adjust her pie recipes. “The first time I made pecan pie it came out like soup ... too much sugar ... so I cut back. There’s something about the way sugar melts at high elevation; I always cut back on the sugar.” She also has a Dutch apple pie recipe that takes two hours baking time due, in part, to the high elevation. These have to be baked the day before so that they’ll be ready the next day. A slice of up-high pie will set you back $5.95. And the mud pie (Chart House recipe) costs $6.75. If you want pie, don’t wait!

Despite their location and baking 25 to 40 pies daily, this is a sellout commodity. Also, try Sue’s chili recipe. It includes three kinds of beans, two kinds of meat, olives (yes, you heard that correctly) and some unusual spices, which Sue was reluctant to divulge. Pie in the Sky used to serve breakfast but gave this up to make room for more pies. They have their priorities straight. At 9,373-feet, for famished early birds, Rock Creek Lodge delivers made-from-scratch breakfasts to the elevation starved. So as not to confuse you, from Tom’s Place it’s eight miles to the Lodge and nine miles to the Resort. And while Pie in the Sky shuts down in October, the Lodge provides gourmet dinners throughout the winter. Strap on your cross-country skis or call for a snowmobile to partake of this dinner reservation.

Saddlebag Lake Resort Last and certainly highest, Saddlebag Lake Resort (10,087 feet) dishes up some great vittles from its kitchen on the edge of the highest lake in California. The turn-off on Hwy. 120 is 10 miles from U.S. 395 and the three-mile, partially paved road is steep. Saddlebag is clearly the only game in town at this elevation. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. it’s not likely to leave you hungry. For breakfast bring on more pancakes. “I put a normal-size pancake on the griddle and it triples in size because of the elevation,” owner Carmen Ernst explained. Cake mixes have definitely been a trial and error scenario. She adds nine tablespoons of extra flour for it to “rise and come out right.” The fresh-baked pies shouldn’t be overlooked. Most are made with fruit brought from the family ranch in Modesto. “Apple is probably the biggest seller,” she said. In season they have apricot, boysenberry and peach. People call and reserve pie before they go on the 5-mile loop since the resort sells out most days.


September | October 2010

A view of Saddlebag Lake Photo by Diane Eagle

Post-breakfast there are sandwiches and lots of burgers. Soup is made daily from scratch – chicken noodle and, recently, tomato pasta soup is the rage. Naturally, there’s the chili – made

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

in two-gallon batches; the resort chef, Greg Caputo, brought his family recipe with him from Utah. Opening day at Saddlebag is clearly a bit more unpredictable; snow likes to hang around above 10,000 feet. Their earliest opening was June 10 – the latest, August 5. They always close September 30. It only took one early snowstorm to set that precedent. By the way, clearly invested in the elevation weight-loss theory, thank Carmen

September | October 2010

for spreading this gospel. These high-elevation cafés have a number of things in common: Focus is on quality product. Storage space is very limited. Definitely need to figure out the cooking temperatures. Food takes longer to cook. Everything is made fresh, from scratch, homemade. During the “season” they are open every day. Though they try to have specific opening and closing dates, it’s all weather dependent. But, clearly, when the snow flies, it’s time to close for the season.

So if you miss them this fall, they’ll see you in the spring. If you’re interested in creating your own way-up high dining experiences, buy “The New High Altitude Cookbook,” available at the Booky Joint in Mammoth Lakes. Known as the California Travel Insider, Barbara Steinberg lives and works in Sacramento. She has been an Eastern Sierra devotee for more than 15 years.

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


Tr i p R eport story and photos by lesley allen


September | October 2010

An Autumn Buckwheat Project

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


ast fall I was scheduled to display my photography with two other artists in a “Featured Artist Show� at the Inyo Council for the Arts. I wanted to create a new group of work for the show and not display anything I already had on hand. I live in Chalfant and often hike from home on the surrounding BLM land. While on one of these after-work hikes, I was brainstorming ideas for a new project and realized that the dried autumn vegetation surrounding me was quite stunning.

September | October 2010

The desert landscape is sparse all of the year but its minimal qualities seem even more dramatic in the fall when the vegetation looks dry and brown. The vegetation blends in with the stone, rock and sand. The bright sky is often the only contrasting color. I started photographing this area just outside my home in the evenings, and after a few days of shooting, I decided to concentrate on just one particular dried flower. I researched this flower and believe it to be the California Buckwheat. I challenged myself to create different images of essentially the same object. However, despite my aim to capture different perspectives, I also wanted all the images to have a similar feel. I wanted them to be slightly abstract, dreamy and calming. These are same feelings I get when I let my mind wander as I engage in my after-work hikes. Lesley Allen works as a freelance commercial photographer. She began her career as a photographer in Jackson Hole as photo assistant with local photographers while skiing, climbing, biking, and working in the outdoor industry. Currently Lesley specializes in lifestyle, studio, and architectural photography. She has lived in Chalfant with her husband Ray since 2001. They love to hike, ski, sail, climb, and spend long days in the mountains. Lesley and Ray are expecting the October arrival of their first child. Mammoth Sierra Magazine


M a r k e t p l a ce TOWN COUNCIL


Skip Harvey

Robert Clark


Town Manager

Jo Bacon

Assistant Town Manager

Karen Johnston

Mayor Pro Tem

Jamie Gray

John Eastman

Town Clerk


Matthew Lehman Councilmember

Michael Grossblatt

We’re here to serve you.

Director of Human Resources and Risk Management

Ray Jarvis

Rick Wood

Daniel Watson Mark Wardlaw


Brad Koehn Finance Director


Bill Manning

Peter Tracy

Airport & Transportation Director

For information on Public Meetings • Municipal Code • Vision Statement Services & Programs • Public Works Projects

The Finishing Touch Interior Design Studio and Corinne Brown, ASID. Red Box Design. Love the Corinne Brown look but not in need of our full range of services? Find budget conscious design, with special products offered below retail and guidance to products in popular catalogs/online sources such as Pottery Barn. Located at 3 Oak Tree Way in Mammoth Lakes. Call 760-9345545 for more information. Window Fair. Windows, walls and more. Custom drapes are our specialty. Friendly personal service. Family owned and operated since 1968. Check out the Graber products of Traditions shutters, Fresco Roman shades, wood blinds, Light Weave solar shades, Crystal Pleat cellular shades and more on All available at the Window Fair. Located at 400 W Line St, Bishop. Call 760-873-6464 for more information.

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TOWN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES 437 Old Mammoth Road, Suite R • PO Box 1609 • Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

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Town of Mammoth Lakes. Robert Clark (Town Manager). PO Box 1609, Located at 437 Old Mammoth Road, Suite R, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Call 760-934-8989 ext. 226, fax 934-8608 or visit www.townofmammothlakes. com for more information. Town of Mammoth Lakes, Police Department. Slow down through town! Based on ongoing citizens’ concerns, the Mammoth Lakes Police Department continues to make traffic enforcement, primarily speeding, a top priority for our officers in the field. In 2007, a Patrol Officer was assigned to work traffic enforcement within the town limits on a full-time basis. Avoid receiving a citation; obey speed laws, stop for pedestrians, stop signs and traffic signals. Become part of the solution, not the problem!

Health CarE Mammoth Hospital. Mammoth S.P.O.R.T. Center. There’s a reason the best train in Mammoth, including Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall. Athletic Performing Testing. VO2Max, Lactate Kinetics & more. Call 760-934-7302 or visit for more information.

Based on ongoing citizen’s concerns, the Mammoth Lakes Police Department continues to make traffic enforcement, primarily speeding, a top priority for our officers in the field. In 2007, a Patrol Officer was assigned to work traffic enforcement within the Town limits, on a full-time basis. This was made possible through a grant obtained from the State of California Office of Traffic Safety. All drivers are reminded that traffic enforcement remains a primary focus for the Mammoth Lakes Police Department and are encouraged to drive safely. Avoid receiving a citation; obey speed laws; stop for pedestrians, stop signs and traffic signals. BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION, NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM! 32

September | October 2010

Northern Inyo Hospital. We care! Early Breast Cancer Detection Program. Are you a uninsured or underinsured woman under 40? Do you have other high risk factors for breast cancer? This program can cover the lab and professional fees of qualified individuals, for annual mammogram screenings and all necessary diagnostic follow up tests. $10 copay. Mammograms save lives. Call your physician today to ask about the program. Please do not let an inability to pay stop you or a loved one from getting timely screenings. Visit for more information. Southern Inyo Hospital’s Geriatric Assessment Program. You’ve known them for so long. Now something has changed. There are many possible explanations for behavior changes in older adults. Call 760-876-2211 or e-mail for more information.

LODGING 80/50 Private Residence Club. Elegant residences. Attractive financing. Gondola connection. The good Life. Check. Check. Check. And check. You need to

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

check out 80/50 in Mammoth. Your fairer sex will be even more impressed. Tragic, that would be. Located at 50 Canyon Boulevard in Mammoth. Call 760-9247777 or 866-311-8050 or visit for more information. Austria Hof. Lodge. Restaurant. Cocktails. Upscale slopeside lodging. Stay in our hotel next to the lifts at Canyon Lodge or in one of our conveniently located condominiums. Summer and golf packages available. Call 866-662-6668 or visit for more information. Best Western High Sierra Hotel. With our knowledgeable and friendly staff ready to greet your arrival, you will enjoy our many free amenities and the 100 percent smoke free facility nestled in the middle of town with easy access to restaurants, shops and the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Located at 3228 Main Street in Mammoth Lakes. Call 760-924-1234 or visit for more information.

Grand Havens Luxury Resort Rentals. Experience Mammoth’s most exclusive properties including singlefamily home rentals, townhomes and suites. Our private, gated homes at Tallus, located on Sierra Star Golf Course, include media rooms, private spas, common area indoor pool/clubhouse and more as well as up to 5 bedrooms and 5+ baths. Most Grand Havens properties (new/remodeled) include daily maid service, free long distance, free high-speed Internet, welcome baskets, robes and luxury amenities. Book Online at www. or call 866-Go-4-Grand or 760-9243300. E-mail Mammoth Estates. Resort Condominium Rentals. Adjacent to the new Village shops and restaurants. Large 1 to 4 bedroom units with all amenities. Spa, sauna, swimming pool and game room. For instant reservations call 800-228-2884 or visit www. for more information. Mammoth Mountain Reservations. Stay with us while in Mammoth. Centrally located office, elegance to economy, recreation room, pools, spas & saunas, underground parking, walking distance to Canyon Lodge or shuttle route locations. Packages, specials, wired & wireless high-speed Internet access available. View units & book online, or call 888-204-4692 for more information. Mammoth Sierra Reservations. Fine accommodations throughout Mammoth Lakes offering a variety of sizes and price points from charming studios to spacious 4 bedroom townhomes. All include fullyequipped kitchens, fitted sheets, quality amenities, and free long distance (a few exceptions apply). Many enjoy spectacular views, free high-speed Internet, pools and even private spas. Book Online at www. or call 888-306-1365 or 760-934-8372. E-mail Mammoth Ski & Racquet Club. Pool/Spas/Saunas, Free long distance calling, fully equipped kitchens, 2 lighted tennis courts, laundry facilities, garage parking, gas fireplaces, winter/summer BBQ areas, rec room and WiFi. Call 888-762-6668, visit, or e-mail: for more information. Mountainback Condominiums. Garage parking, fireplaces or wood burning stove, washer & dryer in the unit, walk to Canyon Lodge, free Wireless and/or cable connection. Call 800-468-6225, visit, or e-mail: info@ for more information.

September | October 2010

Seasons 4 Condominiums. Deluxe suites, close to the lifts, lakes and the Village at Mammoth, fireplaces, hot spa, swimming pool in the summer, and a recreation room. Free High-Speed Internet service in most units. Summer lodging packages. Pay for 5 stay for 7. No hidden fees. Visit to view unit interiors or book Online. Call 1-800-2-MAMMOTH or 760-934-2030 or e-mail for more information. Sierra Nevada Lodge. Rekindle old memories in Mammoth. Free WiFi, free continental breakfast, and Free Shuttle. Located at 164 Old Mammoth Rd. Call 800-824-5132 or visit for more information. Rafters Restaurant & Lounge. Located at 202 Old Mammoth Road. Call 760-924-9431 or visit Sunshine Village Condominiums. Located in-town near shopping and restaurants. Spa, sauna, fireplaces, recreation room, and free wireless Internet available. Call for summer specials. Address: P.O. Box 1088, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Call 760-934-3340 or 800233-6004 or visit for more information.

RECREATION McGee Creek Canvas Cabin Camping. Adventure into McGee Canyon’s famous fall colors and stay in the romantic Canvas Cabin by the Creek at the Pack Station. A wonderful way to camp without all the gear. The first Tent & Breakfast on the east side and right in the fall colors. Call 760-935-4324 or visit www. for more information. Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce. Amateur Photo “Shootout Contest” Sponsored by Inyo County. The deadline for submission is September 30, 2010. For contest rules and regulations contact 760-876-4444 or visit

RESORT SERVICES Alpine Stove & Merchantile. For more than 30 years we have continued to offer the finest quality products, service and integrity. We are the oldest hearth business in the Eastern Sierra. It is what we do and all we do. NFI Certified. License #578261. Visit our conveniently located showroom at 94 Laurel Mountain Road in Mammoth Lakes. Call 760-934-4416 or 888-934-4416 for more information. Eastern Sierra Community Bank. We mean business. Experience business banking the way it should be – the perfect blend of old-fashion personal service and modern technology to meet your every need. Locations: 307 Old Mammoth Road in Mammoth Lakes (760-924-0990), 351 North Main Street in Bishop (760-874-2265) and 166 Main Street in Bridgeport (760932-7926). Call 866-844-7500 or bank online at www. Kenney Roofing, Inc. New Construction, re-roofing, repairs, residential and commercial. In Mammoth Lakes. CA Lic # 477582. Call 760-934-9268 for more information. NPG Cable & High Speed Internet Service. Serving Mammoth Lakes and June Lake. Your local cable television and high speed provider. 24 hour, 7 day customer service, staffed by local people, and local service dispatched out of our Mammoth Lakes office. Over 165 channels of music, information,

entertainment, digital cable, Cheetah High Speed Internet Service, and more high-definition channels. Se habla Español. Voted 2009 Independent Operator of the Year. Now even more HD Channels, including FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC. Located at 123 Commerce Drive, Suite B6 in Mammoth Lakes. Call 760-934-8553 for more information. State Farm Insurance. Linda Wright, Agent. Insurance Lic. # 0753641. Life insurance that makes it worth living. Protect your family for less, build cash value or even get your premiums back if the death benefit has not been paid out at the end of the level premium period. Located at 437 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Call 760-934-7575 or visit www.

restaurants Chart House. Exceptional Dining, Impeccable Service. Since 1961, Chart House has built its reputation on delighting guests with spectacular views, outstanding cuisine and impeccable service. Enjoy top-of-the-catch seafood, succulent steaks, prime rib and decadent desserts while you dine leisurely in comfortable elegance. Located at 106 Old Mammoth Road in Mammoth Lakes. Call 760-934-4526 or visit for more information. Good Life Cafe. Breakfast and lunch served all day. Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. We don’t serve fast food … We serve fresh, wholesome food as fast as we can. Located at Old Mammoth Road in the Mammoth Mall (behind Charthouse). Call 760-934-1734 or visit for more information. Nik-n-Willies Pizza-n-Subs. Dine-in or take-out. Hot-toGo pizza, Take-n-Bake pizza, subs, salads and soups, pizza by the slice, lunch specials, kid’s menu. Fast take-out food. We boost the shortest wait, even during the holidays. Located at 76 Old Mammoth Road (next to Chart House). Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 760-934-2012 (winter delivery 934-DINE) for more information. Schat’s Family Bakery. The ultimate bakery and sandwich bar in Mammoth Lakes. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mention this ad and receive a free bagel with $10 purchase. The Sandwich Bar is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located at 3305 Main Street across the street from the Post Office. Call 760-934-6055 for more information.

Shopping Fendon’s Furniture, Mattress & Reupholstery Co. Ashley sofas starting at $399. Largest furniture and mattress selection in the Eastern Sierra. Furniture repair, reupholstery and refinishing. Furniture and mattresses delivered to Mammoth weekly. Call 760873-4698, 877-485-8405 or visit for more information. Mahogany Smoked Meats. Country Store & Deli. Free samples! Stop by our store. Located at N. Hwy 395 in Bishop. Call 1-888-624-6426 or 760-873-5311 or visit for more information. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Featuring the finest in handmade chocolates, truffles, caramel apples, fudge, custom gift baskets, and much, much more. Two locations: the Minaret Village Shopping Center (call 760-934-6269) or “The Village” (call 760-934-6962).

Mammoth Sierra Magazine


L o c al L ife

A d v e r t i s e r s ' In d e x 80/50 Private Residence Club�����������������������������������35 Alpine Stove & Mercantile�������������������������������������������9 Austria Hof Lodge/Restaurant/Cocktails��������������������21 Best Western High Sierra Hotel������������������������������������3 Chart House Restaurant��������������������������������������������12 Eastern Sierra Community Bank��������������������������������13 Fendon’s Furniture, Mattress & Reupholstery�������������25 Good Life Café����������������������������������������������������������12 Grand Havens Luxury Resort Rentals�������������������������33 Kenney Roofing, Inc.������������������������������������������������21 Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce Photo Contest���������11 Mahogany Smoked Meats�����������������������������������������28

When he’s not teaching high school English, Chris Cooper is most likely out in the mountains with his dogs Skye (above) and Cali.

Mammoth Estates Condominium Rentals��������������������11 Mammoth Hospital���������������������������������������������������11 Mammoth Mountain Reservations Rentals������������������36 Mammoth Sierra Reservations Rentals�����������������������33


Mammoth High School English Teacher

Mammoth Ski & Racquet Club Rentals�����������������������16 McGee Creek Canvas Tent Camping���������������������������15 Mountainback Condominium Rentals�������������������������16 Nik-N-Willie’s Pizza-N-Subs���������������������������������������12 Northern Inyo Hospital�����������������������������������������������2

What brought you to Mammoth?

swimming Mono Lake in July near Rush Creek.

I used to come here with my family as a child and fell in love with it.

Best meal in town?

Why do you stay?

Seared Ahi tuna at the Chart House.

NPG Cable and High Speed Internet���������������������������16 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory����������������������������15 Seasons IV Condominium Rentals������������������������������20 Shea Schat’s Family Bakery & Sandwich Bar��������������21 Sierra Nevada Lodge & Rafters�����������������������������������9

The sunlight on Rock Creek in June.

Can’t live without?

Favorite places to go?

Mica, Wendi, Skye, Cali, Alexander, more sleep and this place.

State Farm Insurance������������������������������������������������21

Thirteen Bridges trail (and don’t expect me to tell you where that is ...)

Current Projects?

The Finishing Touch Interior Design Studio & Sales�����������29

Ideal day off?

Pursuing plans for a doctorate, hiking several more sections of the John Muir Trail, reading more.

Southern Inyo Hospital���������������������������������������������17

Sunshine Village Condominium Rentals����������������������20

Town of Mammoth Lakes Info�����������������������������������32 Town of Mammoth Lakes/Police��������������������������������32 Window Fair/Drapes, Blinds, Shutters������������������������17

Top of White Mountain Peak or 34

September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine



September | October 2010

Mammoth Sierra Magazine

Mammoth Sierra Magazine #45  
Mammoth Sierra Magazine #45  

Fall Issue