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JONNY WALKER'S "LAST CALL" — Mammoth Festival had it all: Wine, crowds and ... Kenny Loggins!

August 24, 2012

On my bike ride home Friday afternoon, I needed to find a wine tasting partner for the weekend. 

Wine tasting is always better with a second opinion to toss around thoughts of flavor profiles, finishes, and overall drinkability.
 
At that moment, my buddy Geoff called to see if I was attending the Mammoth Festival.
 
Perfect.
 
Geoff met me at my place. We both were extremely excited to switch things up a bit. We usually go out drinking beers. It was a nice change to go taste the best wines from so many different wineries.
There were already hundreds of wine enthusiasts travelling between the many booths when we arrived at the Village.
 
After a short stop to pick up our wine glasses and wrist bands, we needed to plan out our attack.
The first stop for us was obvious—the closest wine tent to fill our glasses. 
 
As soon as our glasses were full, we relaxed and created a game plan.
 
We went to the far side of the event to explore the outer reaches of wine from different lands first. 
A few sips from a beautiful New Zealand wine, some Northern California strains, and then some Southern California blends, and we were well on our journey.
 
Not only did the creators of Mammoth Festival bring wine, they also provided some complimentary platters of cheese and crackers, dried meats, and even a kabob of melons at one booth for Wine Walk attendees to enjoy.
 
Let’s just say I was impressed, and Geoff concurred.
 
Saturday was a continuation of great wine tasting starting from Friday’s Wine Walk. 
 
Mammoth Festival on Saturday started at 1 p.m. and featured live music at Sam’s Wood Site. The venue provided room for food vendors from all over town and some mobile art galleries.
 
Wandering through the venue, people gathered at their favorite fermented flavors. Ladies in summer dresses swarmed the area with big smiles and wine-filled glasses. Music played from the main stage just loud enough to keep conversations private, but not too loud that you would need to holler at your tasting partner. 
 
Walking in the maze of trees you could wander into a makeshift art gallery while sipping and swishing your vino.  
 
Jill Mueller, a fantastic watercolor painter, and Craig Sterling, a phenomenal photographer, were among the artists showing off their talented pieces. 
 
As the day turned to night, the wine flow slowed down and people vied for a good spot at the main stage—all in anticipation of the well-known and much loved Kenny Loggins. 
 
I stood in the front row, waiting with a bunch of other people. Those around me started singing their favorite Kenny Loggins tune. Luckily for me, it was a show before the actual show.
 
The crowd started to chant “Kenny! Kenny! Kenny!” as band members made their way to their instruments.
 
The lights dimmed and the crowd got quiet for one second.
 
And then, Loggins vibrantly jogged up the stairs on stage right and joined the party. 
 
There was not a soul in the audience that didn’t woop, holler, yell, scream, or just wet their pants as the dashing Loggins started to play his guitar. 
 
Something tells me the women enjoyed his concert more than the men.
 
He is a no doubt an icon, and maybe even a legend.
 
Kenny Loggins was never my cup of tea, and I’ve never seen him perform live till this past Saturday.
 
Now I’m starting to think I have missed a lot of awesome concerts in the past—the guy knows how to put on a show.
 
It was a high energy performance, with oceans of emotions coming from on stage and off. 
 
Nobody could have told me that I was going to have so much fun … especially with Loggins.
I had a blast.
 
Up next
 
Dust off your Metallica T-shirts and spike collars. Get some black hair dye and ripped jeans. We have a raging party in store for you at the Village this weekend. 
 
Mammoth Rocks will be a high energy, maniac infested party for the ages. And don’t worry, you can stand in the back and watch from a safe distance if you’d like. In addition to the music line up, enjoy your favorite food and drinks with Taste of the Sierra on Saturday. A dozen or so restaurants will be there to offer you samplings of their menus.
 
I’ll be there. Maybe I’ll even put my hair up in a Mohawk. 
 
See you there. Ciao... 

Jonny Walker—and that’s his real, birth name—makes a living by teaching snowboarding, repairing mountain bikes, and guiding groups of adventure seekers down white water rapids. He’s also the creator/founder of Snarvz (a facemask used for winter sports), a passionate fine artist, and has a tan and black dog named Guinness. When he’s not working, he treats his taste buds to the sweet variety of delicacies found throughout the Eastern Sierra’s many festivals, bars, and happy hours. He may be contacted at snarvz@live.com or you can find his number in the bathroom stall of your local pub. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of the Mammoth Times.
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