Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mammoth Mountain Bound


At Conway Summit, overlooking Mono Lake....not much farther now

The plan.......be in the car heading for Mammoth Friday at 9 am.....execution......in car heading or Mammoth on Friday at 8:50 am....I love it when a plan comes together!  I stopped off at the office to bid adieu to TLE (she had the 8 am to 4:40 pm shift Friday) and then headed east on Tahoe Blvd. to HWY 207, and then over Kingsbury Grade to the Carson Valley....I was in Gardnerville taking a potty brake by 9:40 at the 7-11, and then one more time in Bridgeport at the Shell station on the north end of town.  

The drive south was rife with memories made over decades of traveling this route with my parents, and with my own children.  I know this part of US 395 like the back of my hand, and as I pass through the small towns of Topaz, Coleville, Walker, Bridgeport, and Lee Vining they come flooding back.  One of my favorite memories is stopping at the vista point at the top of Conway Summit and taking in the loooong view towards Mono Lake and the small lakeside town of Lee Vining.  No matter what time of year, or what the weather, I always stop at this vista point and take a picture, or two.  My mother has pictures of us at this vista point as far back as the late 50's.  And, of course, Friday was no different.....I pulled over, parked the VW, got out and took one more picture to add the collection.

I arrived in Mammoth at the Motel 6, my abode for two days, at precisely 12 Noon.....that was my goal....just three easy hours of driving.  After checking in, and putting my luggage in my room I went back to the car to unlock my mountain bike so I could take it into my room.  As I approached the bike rack and reached into my pocket for my keys it suddenly dawned on me that I did not have the key for that Masterlock.....doh!!!  I meant to transfer one of those keys to my car key ring.....I really did.  What to do?

I walked back to the room looking up local locksmiths on my Samsung Note 3 phone and found a listing on Yelp for Mammoth Lock and Key.  I dialed the number and 4 rings later Bob answered.  I explained my problem to Bob, and he suggested I call TLE and have her read me the key number off the key.  I remembered that when I first bought that lock there was a 4 digit key code on the key.  I called TLE and she happened to be at the coach for her lunch break, so she pulled out the key ring with the original 15 year old Masterlock key and said there was only a two digit number....M-1.....that's not it.  Apparently over 15 years of wear and tear the 4 digit code had been rubbed off......doh! again.  I called back Bob and relayed the disappointing news.  He said in response....."Well, the only other option is to cut off the lock, but it will cost you for me to do it".....the price quoted was more than it would cost for a new lock, so he suggested I drive down to the local Chevron station where they had bolt cutters they loaned for free.....for just this situation......"Tell John that Bob sent you....".

That seemed like the most cost effective solution, so that is what I did.  The disconcerting thing about this whole episode is that it took me less than 5 seconds to cut off the seemingly invincible lock....I think I need a better lock, what about you?

After solving the lock issue I headed back to the room, got a bottle of water, and headed out to the pool to sit, do a little reading, and just enjoy the afternoon sunshine.  Around 4 pm Brenda, one of my riding friends from SoCal, and her son Dalton arrived at the motel, and we sat by the pool talking of times past, and about our ride Saturday.  Around 5:15 we headed over to "Chart House" for dinner.  They have a great happy hour with half price appetizers of which we we more than happy to take advantage.

As I looked down the menu my eyes locked on "fish tacos"......they were very good.  We also ordered, and shared several other appetizers including their prime rib sliders, ahi nachos....etc., etc.  The three of us sat talking until almost 7 before heading back to the motel for the evening.  

While we were eating we got a call from Paul and Ryan, our other riding friends, advising they had just gotten on the Interstate and would arrive sometime after 11 pm.....past my bedtime, so we arranged to meet for breakfast at "The Breakfast Club" Saturday morning at 7:30.

I spent the evening watching a replay of Friday's round of the British Open" and was in bed by 10:30.

Thanks for stopping by!

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