Why is it so easy to forget? Is it just that it looks different or am I just in a different space to see it differently? We’re down in Bishop, 40 miles away from Mammoth Lakes where we are currently living and working. Getting things in place so that we can depart towards the end of this year on our sailboat, Makara. We have plans but today, we are going for a walk…somewhere.

Line of Buttermilk boulders

After a few errands, we head into the Buttermilks. Most would know this area as a very popular bouldering area. Climbers come from just about anywhere to test their strength and gumption on large ‘highball’ boulders made of quartz monozite. These boulders which look like large gray marbles that the Gods decided to toss around are scattered everywhere. They are what is called ‘glacial erratics’, meaning that they don’t match the rock composition found in the area in which they lie. The reason for this is that long long ago glacial ice carried them far from theirr original location to deposit them here. Apparenetly they were given their name, the Buttermilks, by a dairy farm that used to be in the area in 1870.

Today, I am in awe. How did I not remember how stunning of a location this is? How could I possibly let so much time pass by without venturing out this way? It is February so the mountains have a good amount of snow on them, but where we are it is actually 70 degrees. We drive past the climbing area out into the hills and meadows of this fantastically diverse landscape. All are easy driving dirt roads (except for the wash board that makes your teeth chatter as you bounce over the bumps) and we randomly take a right here and a left there until we decide that it is a good spot. We grab our cameras and look around. Wow!   Have you ever been to the beach and you grab wet sand letting it dribble out of your hand making not so stable stalagmites? Now picture this on a really big scale with that sand turning to stone. In the middle of sagebrush desert these mounds of rock rise in these heaps that just beckon you to climb upon and explore. Then in the

Boulders in the Buttermilks, Bishop CA.

background, you have the towering peaks of the Eastern Sierra with their snow emphasizing all of their peaks and valleys, turns and undulations. Just stunning! You’ll be hiking mostly on roads but there are tons of these singletrack trails connecting road to road. We even saw a mountain biker ride down one. I need to get my mountain bike out there!

We finish taking some photos and then grabbed the drone to do some practicing, which we seriously need. I think Brent got some really good footage. We were joking about flying the drone off the sailboat thinking of Brady from one of our favorite sailing you tube channels as he wore oven mitts to grab the drone so his hands wouldn’t get cut if he missed. (There is no place to land a drone on a moving rocky sailboat so someone has to grab the base before shutting it down) Before we could leave Brent needed to do one last thing. Do his daily running training. Driving two miles down the road to meet up with him when he finishes, I take one last look in the rear view mirror and remind myself not to wait such a long time to return.

Emily Cooley (MakaraEC)

Emily Cooley (MakaraEC)

The life of Emily Cooley AKA:Makaraec is a life in transition. Currently, living in Mammoth Lakes, a small mountain town in California, Emily is currently working in hospitality while she enjoys adventuring in the Lakes, forests and deserts of the Eastern Sierra. Her future is held on the oceans with her husband Brent, in their sailboat Makara. Their goal in the coming year is to simplify life and do their work while cruising the world. A transition which is proving to one of the great challenges of their lives. You can follow their progress at http://www.SailingMakara.com

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