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I just got back from my first trip of the summer.  My family and I spent a week in Mammoth Lakes (Eastern Sierra) with my parents, sister, and my brother and his family.  Needless to say it was a full house, but thankfully a spacious house.

From the Bay area, the drive was around 7 hours which included a couple stops.  On the drive there, we went further north than required, but this gave us the chance to take the Sonora Pass and see some sights that we wouldn’t get to see if we went through the Tioga Pass in Yosemite on both drives.  We wandered into Jamestown as we headed to the Sonora Pass.  Jamestown is an old quaint gold rush town that still has charm.   While I wasn’t that hungry, we still managed to find a store serving delicious ice cream and of course I had a cone.  From Jamestown we made our way up and over the Sonora Pass climbing to 9,624 ft.  Breathtaking views abound on a drive like this, but I couldn’t gaze as long as I would have liked as the road is full of twists and turns and the shoulder … wait there often wasn’t a shoulder.  After making it through the pass you make your way to 395 and head south passing Mono Lake and less than an hour you find yourself in beautiful Mammoth Lakes, a quintessential ski town that has diversified slightly by embracing mountain biking in the summer.

Good times in Mammoth

While in Mammoth we basically took it easy.  Members of the family took turn cooking breakfast and dinner with lunch being your own responsibility.  Although I am a huge wine lover (big surprise as I own a wine business), my family aren’t big wine drinkers.  Instead of sailing into the wind, I embrace my beer drinking side on these vacations.  This year my brother and I decided to do a bit of sampling and brought a number of different beers to try.  Of the various beers we tasted, I really enjoyed the Biere De Miele from Rabbit’s Foot Meadery. Not too sweet, it had good crispness and seemed to be a wonderful beer for summer.  I have had the Rare Vos from the folks at Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, New York many times before and enjoy that beer a whole lot as well.

– more to come

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