Squeezing it all in

I know I said that we were taking things more slowly and not rushing to see everything, but the last couple days, that has not been the case.  We move to our new home tomorrow, and I have a strong pull to *DO STUFF*, because we won’t be doing much besides working for 2 months.  We’ve been up to so much that my dad suggested I save some of the stories for the middle of our Amazon gig, when I might not have much to talk about.  Instead, I decided to tell it all now, while I still have the energy.

First, the biggest news, which is both good and bad.  Good: we are going to make a ton of money at Amazon!  Bad: because we have been assigned night shift.  I knew that we had a 50/50 chance of working days or nights, and I just hoped and hoped that we would get days.  I am such an early riser–I naturally wake up around 4:30 to 5:30 every morning, and I am completely wiped out by about 8pm each night. JJ is more of a night person, so he should do a little better…he will be the designated driver to get us back home after our shifts!

Our shift will be “doughnut”: M, T, Th, F from 6pm-4:30am, so at least we will be getting off work when it’s still dark.  I think I would have a ton of trouble coming out into the sunlight, and then trying to get to sleep.  I talked with a former co-worker from the campground who worked nights for Amazon in prior years, and she had lots of helpful advice; most importantly, she said “you can do it!”.  I have to remember that at most, this will only be for 9 weeks.  Like boot camp. 🙂

Besides the downright frosty change in climate from our last campsite, we’ve been having a lovely time sampling the delights of the Mammoths Lakes area.  On Wednesday, we hiked at Convict Lake.  We were only going to do the 3 mile loop around the lake, but halfway through, we saw the trail going off into…up and up and up.  We ended up hiking about 6 miles, and saw gorgeous country.

The water was delightfully clear. Were it not for the gale force winds, I would have like to try a dip!

The aspen were mostly bare, but we could still enjoy their golden beauty.

I just wanted to keep going on this trail forever.

Thursday, we hiked at Devils Postpile National Monument–an amazing example of what can happen when a volcanic flow with a very particular chemical composition encounters just the right cooling temperature.  A giant shout out to President Taft, who nixed a proposed hydroelectric dam that would have destroyed it.  There’s a huge network of hiking trails that intersect in the area, so we also checked out other sites nearby, and enjoyed a bubbling series of waterfalls.

From the bottom

Self portrait from the top

Upper falls: lovely but frigid!

Geologic exploration from Minaret Viewpoint…

….and the subject of his study.

Yesterday, we toured Bodie, an astonishingly well preserved ghost town.  It was a sleepy little mining camp until gold was discovered in 1877.  Population quickly soared to 10,000, but by 1881, it was in serious decline as the mines were depleted.  A small handful of residents hung on until 1962, when it was designated a National Historical Landmark.  All the buildings and interiors were left just as they had been.  It was a hauntingly intriguing place.  Here’s just a few pictures that I took…maybe I can post more during Amazon dry spells!

About 200 buildings remain

We were able to go inside one of the houses. It felt like we were trespassing on ghosts.

Red light district

It’s been a wonderful trip, especially being able to share it with my best friend.  JJ is the perfect traveling companion, and I’m so looking forward to several months off this winter to do even more!






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