Sunday, July 17, 2016

LONG trip to Mono Lake

Once we were done spending the night in Mina, we asked the manager at the RV park if the road over to Mono Lake along highway 360 then 6 then 120 over to 395 going north to the Mono Lake Visitor's Center. She said, "It's a nice drive through forests and valley".  But....she said nothing about 11% up and down grade. Ye gad....what a road! 15mph, then dowwwwwwwwwnnnnn!!!! It took us over 3 hours to go the 100+ miles....

But...some very nice scenery as we travelled, including some terrific vistas of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains

This is what happens when the camera focuses in on the bugs instead of the meadow!

When we finally got to Mono Lake, we stopped at the Visitor's Center to see what the big deal was. It's a great birding location.

Getting close to Mono Lake

Mono Lake in the distance
Gotta take a photo of the coach

California Gull...Katie chased it for a while
Years ago, the lake was much higher, but LA came and grabbed a couple of the input streams and diverted those waters down to their city for the water supply and Mono Lake levels dropped. Since then, they've recovered somewhat due to a new agreement between LA and Mono Lake. I'm over simplifying what is a BIG history lesson.

Looking east

Looking west

Call them weird, call them bizarre, call them what you will, but the unusual rock formations that grace Mono Lake's shores are known to geologists as tufa (too'-fah).
Tufa forms in a variety of ways at Mono Lake, but the most visible and remarkable formations are the towers that grace Mono's shoreline.
The greatest concentration of these towers is located at the South Tufa grove just off of Hwy 120 East, at the south end of Mono Lake.

We only stayed long enough to view the lake and walk through the center....we still had a few hours left to travel ahead of us.

As we climbed out of the valley, we tried to get some photos...but...did not happen.

Lean forward so I can take the photo!

Aaacckkk...where did that come from ?
Nice journey and a nice stop.

...and our Katie photo...on top of a huge log


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