Weekend Round-Up: High Desert

Weekend Round-Up: High Desert

This was a great weekend. A perfect chance to get away for a few days and relax. Rob and I hit the road early Wednesday. It took almost a whole day to get to Mammoth; you have to take the long way around since most of the passes over the sierras are closed in the winter. But it is a beautiful drive:

We were planning to camp, but conditions were colder and windier than expected. So we booked into a cheap ski-bum hotel just a few blocks down from the lifts. Rob had the idea to rent sets of cross country skis for the next day. We hit the snow-surrounded hot tub in the evening and had a pizza delivered for dinner.

With some fear in my heart, we set out the next morning to try our hand at cross country. Rob had been back country skiing once before but I only had a long and bruise-y history with downhill skiing in my past. Miraculously, I turned out to be a somewhat decent cross country skier. We completed 9 miles at 8,000 feet all together, including some steep climbs and downhills and I only fell maybe half a dozen times. I’m hooked!

I’m going to try to squeeze in one more trip before snow season is completely gone this spring. In the afternoon, we drove down to Bishop at 5,000 feet and checked into our hotel for the rest of the wedding weekend – Rob’s good friend from college was getting hitched. Bishop is a funny little town: half cowboys/half climbers in the high desert of the eastern sierras. It’s basically Alaska in California.

That night, we met up with some of the wedding party. I went with the bachelorette set to live it up at a Mexican restaurant and then sushi/karaoke bar. We made quite a splash on the tiny town…joking that our hijinks would make the paper the next day.

The next morning, I woke up feeling tremendously sore from my ski adventure. Cinnamon bread from Schat’s for breakfast. Rob managed to motivate me for a steep hike to the druid bouldering area south of town. Rough on my poor legs, but full of great views and desert flowers.

In the afternoon, we helped with preparations for our friend’s wedding. Decorated the Rotary Club hall, made flower arrangements and strung lights for a few hours. The bride is from Vermont originally and the groom from Nebraska, so it was nice to meet their far flung relatives. I napped in the hotel room in the evening while Rob went mountain biking. We had a quite dinner at a restaurant in Bishop and met up with friends at a genuine cowboy bar later that night.

Saturday was all about the wedding. We gathered before lunch for the ceremony at a B&B in Bishop. Even more old friends to see and catch up with. The ceremony was followed by a trip to the Buttermilks bouldering area where the bride and groom climbed in their fancy clothes despite it being absolutely freezing. The other 30-so of us bundled up like mad and attempted a some routes for a few hours.

Then, a quick break to warm up and change before the reception. This reception was a kick – essentially held in a shack, in a fairground, in the middle of nowhere – but completely charming. We shared home-brew beer, local tri-tip and a cake made by the bride for dinner. Followed by dancing, pinatas, karaoke, limbo, more drinking and more madness. The guests went home with custom-printed Nalgene water bottles, sunburns and stiff headaches. A classic event!

Rob has such a great group of friends from college, it’s always a blast when we’re together.

The next morning, we hit the road early to race ahead of a big storm. We made it all the way through Luther Pass and Tahoe without needing chains despite near white-out snowing. On the other side, it poured rain the whole rest of the way. Home and unpacked at 7:00. Glad to be back in the city but missing our crew and those mountain views.

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  1. amy at 12:22 am

    What a weekend! Could you & Rob be any cuter or more adventuresome?! I love the bride/groom bouldering after getting hitched!
    I used to cross-country ski when I lived in WY. Loved it & this is making me miss it!