3 Days, 9 Friends
Ever wonder what it’s like to travel with 9 people in one car for an epic adventure? Well, I have and was determined to make it happen. Thankfully, my friends over at Turo were able to provide us with a massive 15 person van that I piled 9 friends into as we set off to our first stop, Alabama Hills located in Lone Pine, California. Think of Turo like Airbnb, but for cars! People and businesses put their cars up that you can rent for a very affordable price and the entire experience is so easy and so fun! If you want to do something similar to what we did or save some miles on your personal car OR make money off your personal car by putting it on Turo, then I would definitely check them out!
We arrived shortly after 10pm and were quick to set up camp and cracked open a few (many) cold beers! I should have started off by saying this was during the same time as the tragic Ferguson Fires so we were very nervous that we would be smoked out, but the trip was planned weeks in advance so there was no turning back; regardless of all the people who advised not to go. We woke up the next morning to a very smokey Alabama Hills and I immediately thought this was going to be a bust of a trip (spoiler alert- it wasn't).
As we headed to Big Pine to embark on an 11 mile round trip journey that would take us to Second Lake, we noticed the sky slowly start to clear up and we saw our first few inches of blue skies. I have made some pretty dumb decisions in my life, but drinking the night before an 11 mile hike was up there with the stupidest! It made the hike there 10X more miserable, but we all pushed through and finally made it to Second Lake and holy shit we were so hyped! There was some serious BLUE ASS WATER with little to no smoke in the sky! Although freezing cold, it was quite refreshing to take a quick little dip to get rid of the sweat we accumulated on the hike to this breathe taking place.
After a few hours of hanging around, drinking beers (of course), we set off back to the car where we slowly loaded up and drove to heaven on earth...Wild Willy’s Hot Spring in one of my favorite places, Mammoth Lakes California.
Everyone was extremely sore and tired, but that didn’t stop us from having an amazing night under what I felt was the most stars I have ever witnessed in my entire life. You could literally see the milky way so vividly that I almost didn’t want to take my camera out to shoot, but I am so glad I did!
With the trip coming to and end, we all had one last thing on our minds: Rope swing, delicious food, and craft beer. There’s only one place that was close by that fit the description, June Lake California. I have been to June Lake many times, yet have never known about this rope swing, but luckily some people I was with did! It was so much fun just hanging out, swinging, and enjoying the beautiful day. So beautiful in fact that some of the locals said it was the clearest day they had in 3 weeks due to the Ferguson Fires. How we got so lucky I have no idea. All I know is, I experienced a lot of firsts on this trip and it’s a trip I will have with me forever. Each of us worked up quite the appetite after a few hours so it was time to visit June Lake Brewery. They have some amazing beers on tap and there is the most magical of food trucks in the entire world for hawaiian cuisine, Ohanas395. Honestly probably the best poke I have had in my entire life which is why every time I am in or close to June Lake, these are both must visit spots. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this trip a solid 9.98. This experience and these moments frozen in time will be something I share with my grandkids when I am as old as the dirt I once played on.