The glistening white blanket towered over the town. Homes turned into soft hills in the forest. Robust trees danced with their white cap dresses and whistled when kissed by the wind. Mammoth was under 419 inches of snow, and it was a majestic sight to see. It was a magical place to be.
The temperatures lingered between 5 to 30 degrees for the only four sunny days in the middle of February. I walked the sinking powder everyday with my shepherd girls, Melina and Kiki, in tow. I relaxed at the bottom of the mountain and witnessed the sun be mirrored in the tiny millions of sparkles from my tent. I made sure to grab my camera, water and orange Trailfoody duffle bag wherever I went. Sometimes, I'd even share the natural and delicious snacks with the dogs. Melina liked eating and spending time in the tent the most as she was new to out of the city for the first time in her eight years of life. The sun rose and set along with the dropping temperatures. We hiked, sank, snacked and inhaled the freezing crisp air only to end our days by the fireplace and with food in the oven.
My young Kiki kept diving into the fresh powder as far as touching the top of her back. She would jump right out only to go off the trail of packed snow and leap right back in. It was her second time in Mammoth and she loved to run freely in the the familiar space - only much higher above ground than last year.
I visited the top of the mountain via the gondola during my last day in Mammoth. The cart rocked and kept climbing to 11,053 feet. Reaching the peak required steady feet and eyes almost closed shut. I could barely get a glimpse, just enough to see through my eyelashes before the waves of powder picked up. The 45 mph gusts felt as if they were going to lift me into the blue sky above.
Through the sunny days on the mountain, I had gained a great appreciation of such a place in such a time. Every turn gave me a view I had only heard of in stories or have seen in films. The town looked as if it could have been on a winter themed puzzle. I could swing on my hammock, take a dip in the jacuzzi, warm up by the fireplace and be blinded by whitest walls of snow over and over gain.