Mammoth Lakes, CA

Highway 395

Nov 29, 2017

I have been up and down the 395 highway countless times and always was it during the winter season to go skiing in Mammoth. I remember going as a child and thinking "why do we always have to drive so far and long to get there?" or how I so often dreaded it. As I got older, road trips got easier and became somewhat more enjoyable. Since I started working full-time, I found myself having less time to explore and go on vacation. I mean, if  that is what "adulting" really is, I want to go back to college. We often fell back on road trips because it became the perfect alternative when you only have a weekend to travel or can't quite hop on a plane to get somewhere far. If only we could teleport, right? Road trips became our perfect weekend escape when we felt the itch to explore or be creative. 

Hop forward to me stumbling on Instagram travel inspiration. I follow a good bunch of travel photographers and happened to see a photo of the Eastern Sierra mountains. Naturally, it was my first instinct to see where it was and how I can make this trip happen. I also happened to just get my iPhone 8+ and what better opportunity to check out my camera than a road trip? To my surprise, I have been doing this trip all my life. It probably just looked so different since the times I went, it is all covered in blankets of snow. So I forced Christina and Sami to come on this road trip with me and--voila!--we made it happen. It was a two-day road trip, but we saw so much on the way. We wandered out into Death Valley National Park {it was my first time}, through Alabama Hills, and slowly made our way up to Mammoth in search of snow. We visited the sand dunes, mobius arch, and tried to capture the night sky without a tripod. {See photo below.} Lesson learned: always bring a tripod--that isn't broken. We were manually trying to capture the photo all the while having our hands freeze off outside in 30-second intervals. But I will say, we did a pretty decent job.

All in all, if you get a chance to venture up the 395 highway and have a weekend to spare, get your butt out there and go explore! If you love to ski, it's an even better to reason to get out there now because Mammoth Mountain is officially open for ski season. There are also so many delicious places to eat on the way up. {See list below.} Until then, happy adventuring friends!

1. Copper Top BBQ for all your barbecue cravings. {read more about it here}
2. Mahogany Smoked Meats has literally the best beef jerky I have ever tasted.
3. Erick Schat's Bakery has the best sandwiches...and well, just everything.

Don't be fooled, the hike up the dunes was a real workout. Go early so you can beat the sun and the crowds!
The portrait mode on the iPhone 8+ is b e y o n d amazing. Best decision I've made thus far.
It isn't the best star photo, but definitely decent for not having a tripod and holding it ourselves out in the freezing weather. 

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