Today I learned that no one will sit next to you on the Mammoth Lakes shuttle if you forget to throw your wag bag away after six hours of being in the hot, hot summertime sun. This wasn’t the first time I have partook in the Mammoth Lake Shuttle system but it was the first time I said, “Well I’ll never do that again.” If the Mammoth Lake shuttle drivers were not complete dicks and just rude humans maybe I wouldn’t be writing this blog and bragging about the Mammoth Lakes shuttle shit-show.
I used the Mammoth Lakes shuttle a few times during the winter when we went snowshoeing up at the Minaret Vista point just past main lodge and it seemed convenient although then too I felt like the shuttle drivers just hated the tourists and had such a bad attitude. I also work in the tourism industry when I am not on vacation. Yeah, it is a pain in the ass when the short-term rental guests play in the snow in your front yard or throw large, loud crack-filled parties on a Wednesday evening but those tourism dollars do keep our local economy going. If the tourists are nice people and respectful of the forest and not partying next door to my home until two a.m. on a Wednesday I can usually get along with them. Because I am an adult. And I understand how life in a ski town works.
Our early morning journey on the Mammoth Lake shuttle began with a very crotchety old shuttle driver who was flat-out rude to the pup as we tried to board the shuttle. I said good morning to him in a very pleasant manner and I swear to you he rolled his eyes at me. And possibly my deaf dog that I was dragging along with me with the muzzle covering half of her face. Then I went and sat down and noticed that he said good morning to absolutely every local person that got on the bus. Apparently, the shuttle drivers here just have a real problem with tourists. No matter how friendly the tourists and their deaf dog are when they are the ones that are keeping this economy booming. Even with a recession looming ahead.
The Mammoth Lakes Shuttle. It’s free.
The Mammoth Lakes area has this great mostly free shuttle system that takes you all over the Mammoth Lakes Basin even to Lake Mary. You can actually pay to take it into the Red’s Meadow Resort area also. Which is what I did on Monday. So I looked and I looked and I could not find any way online to pay for my ticket in advance. So my plan was to bring cash with me for the ticket. The Mammoth Lakes shuttle website says you have to have exact change so I took my twenty-dollar bills with me to the farmers market the night before, meaning to get change. I totally forgot to put my cash back in my hiking pack and it wasn’t until I was on the first shuttle of the a.m. that goes to the village that I realized that I forgot the cash. Oh, poop.
I was hoping there would be a business open in the village at 7:00 a.m. that would sell the shuttle passes or if nothing else I could just have my boyfriend bring me the cash. I climbed on the bus going to Reds Meadow Resort to ask the bus driver and he was just flat-out rude to me and did not tell me I could have ridden that shuttle to the main lodge for free and just bought a ticket at the main lodge. That would have been so easy.
But instead, I called my boyfriend after this and asked him to rush me up some cash so I could make the next shuttle and then the next shuttle driver told me that I didn’t even need the cash. I could have just stayed on the shuttle until main lodge. I could have exited there and bought a ticket with my credit card. Honestly, I don’t understand why the first shuttle driver couldn’t have just supplied this information instead of being a dick. I was super friendly to him, saying good morning when I entered the shuttle. It would have made everyone’s life a lot easier if he just knew what he was talking about.
Maybe this is why my dog is in such a bad mood. Or maybe it’s because she doesn’t like wearing a mask in public like so many of us. The Mammoth Lakes shuttle system requires dogs wear muzzles on the shuttle. Which I one hundred percent agree with. My dog has been attacked by so many unsocialized dogs during this pandemic. Strange dogs in close quarters like this should be muzzled. Unfortunately, I bought the worst muzzle on Amazon. It fits her terribly, And if she shakes her head she can just get it off so I have to be constantly vigilantly watching her. So just reaching the trailhead so the pup and I could trek to the scenic Minaret Lake on Monday was such a pain in the ass. My four-legged friend was having a temper tantrum on the Mammoth Lake shuttle by the time we were actually on the correct shuttle and heading into Red’s Meadow Resort. She was not happy about having to wear a mask. Believe me, Carly, we have all been there.
Hours later I would tell another crotchety shuttle driver after waiting in a long line to get on the shuttle that I’m not in a rush to get on the bus eventually. And I understand his frustration with the mass hordes trying to load on the bus at the crazy popular tourist destination Devil’s Post Pile because I also work in the tourism industry. He still was not friendly to me at all after that. I feel like the shuttle drivers here in Mammoth Lakes just have a real gripe with the tourists and I don’t understand why it has to be this way.
When the pup and I are not trekking sixteen miles in one long ass day on the trail, back home in Big Bear Lake, our entire economy is nestled around tourism and everywhere you go people are actually nice. I know common decency in this day and age are lacking, but it’s really unfortunate that a beautiful place like Mammoth Lakes has such crotchety angry people running their local establishments.
The Mammoth Lakes Gondola; A terrifying good time
So the Mammoth Lakesshuttle can sometimes be a pain in the butt but do you know what is a great example of public transportation? Take my advice and trek just about any trail to the top of Mammoth Mountain. I highly recommend hiking the Dragon’s Balls, I mean the Dragons’ Back out of Twin Lakes. The Seven Lakes Point is such a beautiful view of most of the lakes in the Mammoth Basin. And this hike is a butt buster! I think it is by far the most challenging hike in Mammoth Lakes. The very, very best part of this trek up the Dragon’s Balls is that at the end of the trek, you can take the gondola back down to the Mammoth Lake’s shuttle with the grumpy shuttle driver! Take the free shuttle back to the village then hop on the purple line that takes you back to the Lake Mary Basin and your car parked near Twin Lakes Campground.
The Hungry Mountaineer, a grumpy shuttle driver and a grumpy old dog
Maybe the shuttle driver was extra grumpy towards me and my smelly hiker’s dog because I accidentally left a smelly wag bag in my hiker’s pack. I did mean to throw it away before we boarded the shuttle but I know those shuttles only come every thirty minutes and the shuttle was pulling in just as I reached the parking area. Even though I had just trekked sixteen miles to Minaret Lake in the hot Sierra sun, I ran to not miss that bus.
I should be the one who is crotchety! While I was frolicking in the forests and bathing in waterfalls and completely off the grid for twelve hours on Wednesday all my social media and emails were hacked in the worst way. As in I have been kicked off of Facebook for life after some terrible human being who hacked my profile posted something so vile Facebook has kicked me out forever. This is such a bummer for me personally as I have so many years of photos and memories with friends and family not to mention worldwide travel from the last fifteen years on that social media platform. It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing I lost all those photos and memories probably forever.
These shenanigans right here are the whole reason I escape to the forest. I just can’t stand to be near other human beings and society at large. What kind of human being pulls something like this? And do they really think I have time to constantly be coming up with new passwords for each account when I should be frolicking up mountain passes with my favorite four-legged friend? Who has time for this bullshit? And seriously did I really have to deal with this on my vacation when I should be sitting in a lake reading a book?
So it turns out that the Mammoth Lakes shuttle shit show was just the very beginning of my long day of frustration but hey the good news is we are still in the eastern Sierras! I can work on all these issues from my hot-spotted laptop in our awesome campground in the most beautiful forest in California.