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Eastern Sierra Trip Winter 2010

Day 4 of 5

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Saturday, February 20th
Glass Flow Trail System

I was worried that there would be rain and/or snow today. A quick check of the weather forecast, however, told us that it wasn't expected until around 3pm. There were definitely ominous clouds to the south, but clear blue sky to the north in the morning.

I spent some time trying to figure out where to go today. Since the kids weren't up for snowshoeing more than 2 miles, our options were a bit limited. I also didn't want to repeat a hike up McGee Creek, since we'd been there 4 months earlier. I eventually decided we would take a drive on the June Lake Loop and probably stop at Silver Lake and hike around there.

On the drive up 395, we encountered snow falling just north of Mammoth Lakes. That didn't bode well for us, but just a few miles north, the skies were clear. On the way to the June Lake Loop, I marveled at the surrounding forest on a landscape of snow - beautiful. Just past Deadman Summit, I saw a sign for cross-country skiing. I decided to check it out, turning left into the parking area. It turns out this was the Glass Flow Trail System, and we decided to do a snowshoe hike there.

After the hike, we made the short (less than 5 minute) drive south to another trail system. This area is on the western side of Highway 395, just south of Deadman Summit. While you can ski, snowshoe, or use snowmobiles here, we were here for the sledding. Several others were here doing the same. It's a short walk to some perfect sledding hills. The area can easily accommodate 15-20 different runs on at least two different hills. This was the best sledding area of the three that we visited on this trip.

After sledding, I decided to take the scenic route, going on Old Mammoth Road. I then made a wrong turn, heading right up 203 toward the Mammoth ski area before I realized my mistake and made a U-turn. Up there, the snow was coming down and plows were going back and forth. Back in the town of Mammoth, however, there was no snow falling. We stopped for ice cream (we had to at least celebrate Nathan's 100th hike with ice cream, even if it was cold and snow started to fall on us on the way back to the car).

Back at our rental house, it wasn't raining or snowing, but it was definitely colder and the wind was starting to pick up. A storm was definitely coming and the weather reports did not look good. I feared that one or more of the roads along our path home the next day would be closed, forcing us to drive up to Reno.

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