Yesterday we drove from Tonopah in Nevada to Mammoth Lakes in California. It took us about 3 hours driving time, for around 160 miles. We drove out of high desert, across passes up to 7,500 feet high and between 13,000 ft mountains. It was a long drive, but quite straightforward – roads that were as straight as a ruler, with visibility of up to 15 miles ahead. Then we passed into the Sierra mountain range, where the desert gave way to pine forest and lakes. This weekend is a holiday weekend for the Americans, as Monday is Labour Day. That meant that the roads got very busy in the afternoon – this was a bit of contrast to the desert driving, where we’d see another car perhaps every 20-25 minutes.
We’d booked our motel two weeks ago over the Internet, because accommodation is very difficult to get, and expensive, during holiday weekends. The town of Mammoth Lakes is a winter ski resort, and used for hiking and mountain biking in the summer, and as a result has the look and feel of an alpine resort – lots of chalets and wooden-log buildings. The girls just wanted to relax, after all the time in car, and so did we, so Friday evening and Saturday was just spent swimming. The big news is that Emily learnt to swim without arm bands, and successfully went from “I’m not taking them off” to swimming the width of the pool in the space of 2 hours. And Charlotte learnt to dive (Yes, I know that it’s not the world’s best photograph, but it’s the only photo we’ve taken in the last 48 hours, so you’ll have to make do with it!).