We woke in our terrible little hotel room to a gloomy looking day. Since we could see it was already raining in Mammoth Lakes, our next destination, we decided we would go swimming in Lake Tahoe and figure things out from there. After a quick coffee run, since the coffee in the hotel lobby was as awful as the room, we packed up and headed towards the lake. Along the way we spied a yard sale that had a large inflatable 4-person raft (capable of using a motor) and an inflatable kayak. After inquiring what they would like for them, we negotiated to $130 for both, along with the paddles and 3 pumps.
We were giddy with excitement that now we could float on the lake for less than the cost of rentals. The car was already a loaded disaster, why not add two more things…
We made a quick run in a Ross store to see if they had any life jackets. It must have been our lucky day! They had just gotten three in that morning! As Alex was perusing the clothing racks, Dave and Doug had done a little browsing of their own and found some lovely muumuu’s for us all.
Some rain was beginning to fall, so we made a early lunch break at Sierra Pizza to wait it out. Once the weather cleared, we headed to find a beach area on the lake. We inflated our raft, and headed for the crystal clear, stunningly blue (pictures don’t do it justice), water of Lake Tahoe. We spent a couple ours enjoying our day’s purchase before heading to shore to pack up the raft and head south towards Mammoth Lakes for some climbing the next day.
After a drive through the town of Mammoth Lakes, we found a nice dispersed camping area along Ownen’s River Road. We set up camp, Dave and Alex opting to just set up the tent rather than try to deal with the explosion of gear and clothes that was now the entire car. Dave and Alex scavenged the area for rocks to make a fire ring, while Doug cooked up a yummy meal of lentil/rice/corn burritos. After dinner, we wrapped up some potatoes and an onion in foil and placed them among the campfire coals to cook for breakfast the following morning. After a few hours around the fire, we all headed to bed for the night.