Mammoth Lakes, CA

(Click here for more photographs.)

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’ve never visited this area during the summer.  I used to come here frequently to ski since it is the nearest major ski area to Southern California, about a 5 hour drive.  So this portion of our summer itinerary was built around a stop in Mammoth Lakes.  We parked at the Mammoth Mountain RV Park.

Sadly, one of the major areas I wanted to visit here, Devil’s Postpile National Monument was closed to allow for repairs to the road that leads to it necessitated by winter storms.  But there’s still plenty to see and do here.

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Mendoza, Argentina

Cavas de Don Arturo wine tourMalbec wine and Mendoza.  The two are inextricably entwined.  Mendoza (photos) is unquestionably the wine capital of Argentina.  There are over 1,000 wineries in the Mendoza province that are responsible for about 70% of the total wine output for Argentina.  The Malbec wines put Argentina on the map in the wine world but Mendoza is producing a wide variety of red and white wines.

The fact that anything at all can grow in Mendoza is owed to a network of irrigation canals or acequias.  Mendoza gets very little rainfall, less than 8 inches annually.  All of the vineyards and the entire town get their water from these canals which are supplied with water from the nearby Andes precordilleras or foothills.

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