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What's up, up here? June 20 - June 27

June 24, 2013

We were sorry to hear of the death of Tom Johnson, aka T.J.,who was the longtime photographer at Mammoth Mountain. His iconic black-and-white photographs are on view and for sale at Mammoth Galleryat 501 Old Mammoth Road, in “The Plaza” strip mall. …

Jim Smith, Mammoth Mountain’s vice-president of real estate and an ardent supporter, with his wife, Elaine, of all things running, is falling into the open arms of Vail Resorts. …

In case you might miss it (likely), the summer solsticeoccurs tonight (Thursday, June 20) at precisely 10:04. The word “solstice” is from the Latin solstitium, from sol(sun) and stitium(to stop), reflecting the notion that the sun appears to stop at this time, and again at the winter solstice. …

Vons Update: July 4 is the drop-dead deadline for completing the Big Remodel, says Von himself. …

The Recreation Departmentthis coming weekend will celebrate the arrival of summer with free admission to the Whitmore Poolfor recreation swim, and the Mammoth Roller Rinkafterward. Complimentary swimming, music, and a BBQ (nominal charge) begins at noon at Whitmore Pool. After concluding at 4 p.m., the party continues at the rink from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with free admission (excludes skate rental). …

It just doesn’t happen every day that an esteemed “Hiker-Cellist” floats in from the Pacific Crest Trail, but Mark Votapek, of the University of Arizonafaculty, drops into town on Saturday, June 22, at 7 p.m., at the Mammoth Lakes Lutheran Church. Votapek is attempting to hike the entire 2,650-mile length of the trail, from Mexico to Canada this summer, while performing a series of concertsin venues on or near the PCT. …

Wonders never cease at the under-construction Mammoth Rock ‘n’ Bowl, which you can see with your very own eyes along Chateau Road next to the Cast Off. Go, Dan O’Connell, go! …

The Mammoth Half Marathonis this Sunday, and if you’re not hoofing it, you could be pedaling the course, sez Jeff Bybergone of the leading fellowsof the Eastside Velos. As of mid-week, the event still needed a few Bike Course Marshalsto help out. He directs interested cyclists to the “Course Marshals” on the Velos’ website, but there’s more! “Perksinclude a t-shirt, food, and the satisfaction that 100 percent of all event net proceeds go towards local community service and charities.  You can also act smugand snickerat the runners while you effortlessly coast downhill.” ...

Very nice HedzUpfrom NBC Los Angeleslast Monday on the Mammoth Food & Wine Experiencehappening here July 5-7. …

That would be Mammoth Forest Service Ranger Mike Johnsonleading an exploration of Hot Creek and the geology that makes the Eastern Sierra so whacky. Whackaroosmeet at the parking area for Hot Creek—off Hatchery Road(same road as the airport) Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. from June 1 to Sept. 28. …

Speaking of ongoing outdoor excursions, the Mono Lake Committeeis offering canoe trips to educate the public about the importance of protecting and restoring Mono Lake. Tours on Mono Lake begin weekends starting June 22. For more info, contact Julia Frankenbach, Canoe Program Coordinator, at 760-647-6595 x125. …

About 300 people showed up last weekend for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, sez Mono Lake Committee Education Director Bartsche Miller, and to us, that is just a flat-out astonishing turnout. An increasing number of Bay Area folkboosted the totals. …

For the literariansamong us, check out Mammoth’s Stuart Fox’snew novel, “Becoming Green,” and Jeff McElroy’scollection of short stories in his book, “Californios,” both currently on the stands at the Booky Joint. …

And for those heading up Idaho-way, be sure to pick up the new book from former Mammothite Mike McKenna, “Angling Around Sun Valley: A Fly-Fishing Guide to South Central Idaho.” A great read even if you’re more innerested in, say, Eastern California. …

Those were, in fact, four leetle, teeny-weenie quakesTuesday evening, all below 3.0 but enough to cause a few people around here to do a collective WTF? …

Needless to say, the prescribed firescheduled in Yosemite Valleythis past week was postponed due to the Carsten Fire, burning outside (west) of Yosemite, near Mariposa. …

Mammoth’s kind citizenscan support the Mammoth High School’s cross-country ski and track and field teams by purchasing a raffle ticket for a half-day fly fishing tripfor up to three people. No experience needed and all equipment will be provided. The trip is compliments of Kittredge Sports’ Guide Chris Leonardand the Mammoth High School Boosters. Tickets are $5 each, or six for $25 and can be purchased from your favorite cross-country ski or track team member, or at Kittredge Sportsat 3218 Main Street. Raffle will be on July 4. So if you have wanted to learn to fly fish, or you know someone who does, purchase your tickets and support our local athletes. …

From the “Who Knew?” Department: Devils Postpileand the Reds Meadow Valleywere once part of Yosemite National Park. ...

We know why this happens, both when and where, but it’s still funny to us that SnowSports Industries Americahas its annual “Summer Snowdown” on July 17, in New York City. Big trade show and alla that. ...

Customers of Not-So-Suddenlinkin Mammoth got a curious piece of email this past week, to wit, “Major upgradeswill be completed in mid-July that will allow Suddenlink to increase Internet speeds. All current Internet customers will be upgraded to our 15 mbps speed. That’s up to 10 times faster—for FREE! No new equipment is needed. Just sit back and enjoy the upgrade—on us!” Hmm. Also, the Internet provider says it will offer “15 mbps, 30 mbps and 50 mbps” packages soonly.

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