Mammoth Photo Diary

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If there's anything I learned this year, it's that experiences are far more valuable than the tangible. So as a Christmas present for my friends, I decided to take them on a day trip to northern California around beautiful Mammoth. We woke before the sun and headed north making a few short stops on the way. Around noon, we finally arrived at our first destination, Convict Lake. It was a dark blue body of water surrounded by dramatically gorgeous snow-covered mountains. We snapped some photos, played with the remaining snow, and had a picnic by the dock.

The next stop was Wild Willy's Hot Springs, which was a bit of a challenge to find at first. We followed directions I had saved which literally told us to "turn in at the green church, make a right at the second cattle guard, and always make a left at the fork when possible." I was a bit discouraged at first but I was so relieved when we started to see the parking lot from the unpaved dirt path we were driving on. Side note, on our little Indiana Jones adventure, we drove through a herd of deer and it was seriously one of the coolest things ever! We reached the parking lot and followed the wooden boardwalk to the hot springs. The temperature of the springs was perfect and it was just such a surreal feeling to be sitting in a hot spring, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the Sierras. I had never felt more one with nature. And just when I thought the day couldn't be any more perfect, the sky started doing crazy things. The sunset was unlike any I had ever witnessed in my life. Think Colors Of The Wind scene from Pocahontas- it was changing every second with hues of yellow, pink, orange, purple, blue… So breathtaking. We headed back to the car and made our way to the nearest town to fill up gas and grab dinner at Denny's before making our way home.

As much as I always dream about moving to a new city in a different state and/or country, I have so much love for California. Taking this day trip up to NorCal has inspired me so much to explore my home more. There's so much to see and it's kind of ridiculous how much we all take it for granted sometimes.

Photos by Andrew Rubi, Jill Cao, Yssabel Pangilinan, and me
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