Vic has a saying that every good party ends with a trip to the emergency room. I haven't been able to embrace that philosophy. But if he's right, then we must have had a heck of a party at Mammoth Lakes. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Vic led yet another birding trip recently, this one to Mammoth Lakes for some mountain specialties such as the very hard-to-find white-tailed ptarmigan. Vic and I drove up Thursday, a day ahead of the rest of the group. Crossing the Mojave to get to Lone Pine can be a long, hot, tedious drive. I think Mojave is an old Spanish word meaning "I didn't know our planet could get that hot!"
Sometimes I'm really into the desert, but not on this trip. I just wanted to get across it and reach the mountains. In the past, we have visited Randsburg, a living ghost town that is a favorite with photographers. We've also stopped at Fossil Falls, where huge rivers that ran during the Pleistocene carved fantastic formations into black lava. Those wet millennia were more than 10,000 years ago, and the falls are now bone dry.