Day 69 – Mammoth Lakes to Olancha & Devil’s Postpile

Researching what to do and see in Mammoth Lakes, we read about the Devil’s Postpile, a National Monument about half an hour from Mammoth Lakes, so we decided to go and have a look at it before travelling to Olancha for the night. Reaching Devil’s Postpile involves driving for a few miles, and then leaving your car in a car park and taking the shuttle but that goes into the park and stops at various places. There are camp sites and other accommodation in the park and Devil’s Postpile is just one of the things to do, but probably 99% of the people on the bus with us were there for Devil’s Postpile. We got on the bus and travelled down the very narrow road (which is why you have to leave your car) down a steep mountain slope and got dropped off at the stop for Devil’s Postpile. I found it quite interesting but Brian was expecting it to be bigger and better I think! From there, instead of taking the bus to the other major attraction, Rainbow Falls, we decided to rather walk to it. While this got my steps for the day up, it was quite a boring walk with not much to see, other than trees and more trees – I guess I’m not a natural born hiker! It was still good getting a decent walk in, even though it was getting rather hot by this point!
Rainbow Falls was well worth seeing though and we spent a bit of time there before hiking back to the bus stop and getting a bus back to the parking lot. From Mammoth Lakes we stopped by Convict Lake, which is beautiful and another stop well worth making – and we managed to have lunch at yet another scenic spot! From Convict Lake it wasn’t too long a drive to Olancha, with the landscape changing gradually and getting drier and more desert-like. In fact, to me it looked very much like the Karoo in a lot of places! We arrived at Olancha and it was hot! Olancha is a small town (population 192) with not much to do – in fact, there is a diner and that is it! As the diner was a bit of a drive and we wanted to do our washing, we settled down by the pool with a couple of beers and just relaxed. We had enough food with us to not bother going out to dinner either, and instead just sat outside on the patio with a couple of drinks and watched the sun go down over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Olancha motel was a pleasant surprise and we had a lovely stay, just being able to sit down with our feet up and enjoying nature.

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