Thursday, 2 July 2009

Mammoth Lakes

Apologies for the lack of updates lately, was entirely due to laziness - and now it's the last day before I head back to NZ tomorrow! Still, better catch this blog up in somewhat chronological order while I have the motivation to...

Before driving into Yosemite we spent most of the day around the attractions at Mammoth (just 'Mammoth', no 'Lakes', as the locals like to call it), such as taking a gondola ride to the top of the Mammoth Mountain, which gave us some beautiful views of the whole area and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. We were quite surprised to see people still skiing, given it was late June! There was still some snow but very icy - I definitely wouldn't attempt it myself.

After that we went and saw 'The Devil's Postpile', a bunch of very interesting basalt rock formations which basically looked like honeycomb pillars pushed upwards from the earth. Look forward to some Flickr photos later when we've had time to properly sort and upload them...

Soon we were on our way to Yosemite via the very picturesque June Lake area, which was quite reminiscent of Queenstown - a nice aqua blue lake with snowy mountains in the background. Unfortunately I managed to have a freak encounter with a bee during our drive. Basically we were happily going along when BAM, I suddenly felt a burning, stinging sensation on my neck. James slowed down and pulled over, and just before the car came to a halt I saw a yellow and black thing 'stagger' (if flying insects could stagger) out the window... Obviously it'd got sucked into my window and when the first thing it hit was my bare neck, it panicked and dispensed its stinger.

Now, being the first time I can ever recall being stung by a bee, I was a bit paranoid for a while that it would turn out I was allergic, but apart from a persistent, painful stinging sensation which lasted for about half an hour, I didn't develop any breathing difficulties, so I guess it wasn't that bad after all. Overall, was relieved not to have had it worse, but also a bit annoyed that I got stung without having provoked the thing in any way... just bad luck I suppose!

One last thing we saw before heading into Yosemite were more different interesting rock formations, these things called 'tufa' by Lake Mono, which basically look like stalacmites but all around the edge of a lake.

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