Mammoth Lakes Part 1: June Lake & Convict Lake

Hi guys, sorry it’s been a while since we last wrote anything and boy do we have a LOT to catch up on! We figured now is a good time to sit down and look back at some pretty incredible adventures because I just had surgery yesterday and it is going to be a few weeks of recovery.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything major (we hope) – I’ve just had this persistent hole in the pad of a toe for a really long time. Like basically a year. If you follow me on Instagram you probably see I almost always have a sock on my right rear foot because of this dumb hole. Momma was always finding things in it like sand and pebbles and we thought that’s why it would never close up. So the vet had me put it under wraps for a few weeks after they flushed it all out and when even THAT didn’t work they decided to open it up to see what was in there.

And guess what, there was NOTHING in there but a huge pocket where I had been collecting all of this debris. So there was a lot of scar tissue that they scraped out, but now I have three staples in ONE toe. And it’s a toe on my wonky foot, and in fact it’s my PRIMARY toe on that wonky foot. So recovery is going to be a little slow. Oh, and momma also had a big cyst removed from my back and my dingle-dangle dew claws on my back legs got chopped off too. Basically she put me through the wringer. We are hoping it will result in me finally healing up that toe and not having anymore pain in it, so paws CROSSED!

Now, on to better things, like our most recent adventure which was to MAMMOTH.

Guys, my momma has been dying to go to Mammoth Lakes for a long time now. It’s on the east side of the Sierra so during the summer when all the passes are open it’s pretty easy to get to. It’s surrounded by lots of national forest public lands and is well, full of lakes, hence the name Mammoth Lakes.

In typical fashion, momma had us hop, skip and jump all over the area, so the longest we camped anywhere was 2 nights, but we camped at like 5 different campsites. That’s the bonus of having a camp on wheels. I was going to write one blog post about it but WordPress kept kicking it back for too many pictures because, well, there’s an obscene amount of pictures we want to share. So this first bit will be our first two days at two incredible lakes in the Mammoth area.

We started out the trip in June Lake. I had a fresh wrap on my toe from the vet with strict orders to not get it wet. So momma wrapped it all up in plastic to take Lolo and I out on the SUP with her. At our first rest stop I dove into the water …and of course momma’s plastic protective wrap failed and so I was free of the water restriction the rest of the week since momma had to cut the soaking wet thing off.

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Momma books everything last minute based on other people’s cancellations, so we got an awesome site at June Lake campground that was easy walking distance to put in the SUP. Momma brought only the inflatable on this trip, which is a nice and wide platform for both Lolo and I to hang out on. The campsite was nice and private, and it’s a relatively small campground.

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Lolo and I went out to SUP with momma for a few hours on a hot summer day. It was awesome. The water was beautiful and clear. We have gotten so used to big boats making big wakes on Lake Tahoe when we are paddling that June Lake was such a pleasant change. It was just small fishing boats puttering by at nice speeds. Lots of people out fishing in the afternoon and lots of opportunities to stop and go for a swim.

If you look you can see this is before I went and ruined my wrap with a swim 😉

sometimes you gotta shake it!

It cooled off nicely that evening and in the morning we got up to go trail running. There is a trail head we could just walk to that was *almost* across the street from the campground so we went up, up, up! Needless to say momma wasn’t really running with all the up, up, up, but Lolo and I and dad were. We had really nice views and decided to turn around when we hit the ski resort. Once we got back to camp momma took us back out on the SUP for one more trip around the lake before we had to vacate our spot and head down south, past the Mammoth proper area to Convict Lake.

Nothing like a good trail run!
Lolo high above June Lake; Mono Lake visible in the far distance
Momma wants to take us to SUP on Mono Lake sometime (way out there)

Convict Lake, like June Lake, isn’t in the hub of Mammoth Lakes, but they both seem to very much be a part of the area. Convict Lake is very distinct looking, as I’m sure you can tell from these photos. As we drove south to Convict we began to see there was a lot of smoke in the air from a fire. Being that Convict Lake has no sort of cell reception, no-one there really knew what was burning or where. And the winds shift around so much it would only really be smoky for a little while – and gave us some very interesting pictures!

Our trail run into the John Muir Wilderness took us almost up to where the patch of snow is

At Convict Lake momma talked dad into renting a SUP so that he could go with us. He got one and paddled out to us where both Lolo and I tried to jump – simultaneously – onto it with him and resulted in all three of us falling into the water. Momma, still standing on her board couldn’t stop laughing at us. She said we needed to stick to protocol and all stay on her board, so we did. We paddled around the lake counter-clockwise and were just in awe of the beautiful view when you are facing the western slopes. There were several mountain streams pouring down into the lake and we stopped there for a swim break. That water was COLD.

Lots of pollen from all the pine trees

As we paddled around the other side the wind suddenly started blowing SUPER hard out of the opposite direction so we had to get ourselves to shore to be safe since we technically had no idea what any weather forecast was predicting! We had a nice campsite at Convict Lake campground which backed up into the hills. There were a LOT of deer at the campground that would just wander around through camp. I mean THROUGH camp. We suspect people were feeding them 😦

Lolo regretting his decision to go paddle with dad – would soon bail and swim back over to us
View from camp

We had another nice, cool night (and camp fire!) and woke up early to go trail run around the lake. There is a lot of asphalt around the Convict Lake campground that gets REALLY hot in the sun, so momma had to make sure we wouldn’t be on it after about 10 am (especially with this bad foot of mine). We headed out around the lake and when we got to the turnoff to head into the John Muir wilderness momma really, really wanted to take it. Dad was less than thrilled (he likes to have a plan and stick to it!) but she insisted we would just go in for 30 minutes and then turn back around. So we went in and it was so beautiful and amazing! I mean look at this! There is a trail that goes up to a lake back here that was our original plan before my foot got so bad, so hopefully once it heals up and momma takes us back in the fall we can actually go do it!!

That side tongue tho!

I mean really, this is just gorgeous!!!

We love being on the trail so much! 
Above Convict Lake, looking east towards the desert

We got back to camp before the asphalt got too hot and momma and dad sat around drinking coffee. They had just got a french press to make coffee with while dry camping and thought it was amazing. So amazing that momma drank wayyyyy too much coffee because when we went back out to SUP Convict Lake again (in the opposite direction this time) momma was shaking like a leaf from all the caffeine! But we still had a great time because no-one cast their line onto our SUP today.

Much better views today with (less) smoke!

say PLEASE!

Never one to turn down a swim! 
Dad taking a “bath” 

Next, we go into the Mammoth Lakes basin proper for a lot more SUP fun, you will not BELIEVE how many lakes we paddled!

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