We returned to Mammoth Lakes this summer, this time with our pedal steel player, Ben, and his family in tow (#Griswolds).
The first day of our trips up to the mountain is always a long one. The drive takes us about eight hours from San Diego with stops for food and gas, etc. We always arrive in just enough time to check in to the hotel, change clothes, setup, and soundcheck.
The restaurant and bar that hosts us, Kitchen 53, always hooks us up with a delicious dinner before our show, and then we play until closing time at the bar.
At the end of day one, everybody is pooped. With the long car ride, the 11,000 ft. climb in elevation, and the three hours of playing music (which, like all things athletic on mountains, is exhausting in the elevation) we limp back to the hotel, fueled only by adrenaline and FOMO.
This time around, on day two, we all split up and did our own thing. Ben and his family explored the village, Carissa had a solo day filled with a hot tub, some trashy magazines, and rustic mountain scenery; Nick and Josh went hiking around the lakes. We all met up for some German Food at the base of the mountain before our call time at the venue.
Saturday night always feels different than Friday -- we are better rested, we have had a sense of adventure instilled in our hearts, and we are eager to meet new people and share an experience through the music. And, party, just a little...
Mammoth definitely knows how to party, and this trip proved to be no exception. We even got a visit from some friends we made the last time we came around, who work at the local brewery. There's always a welcoming vibe. We even have fans in San Diego who saw us in Mammoth on one of our earlier trips that come out to our local shows. It's like a shared experience, when you meet on the mountain.
You'll find a stoke in people there that only comes with low oxygen, low temperatures, and extreme sports. #passthehottoddy
Anyhow, thanks for having us back, Mammoth. We sure do like you. Maybe we'll stay longer next time.