Mono Lake

Mono Vista RV Park, Lee Vining, California
September 16-17, 4,595 miles and 61 days into the trip.

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This stop was an unexpected interesting and pleasant experience. Mono Lake is in the extreme western side of the Great Basin. It is the sister lake to the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It contains 2.4 times the amount of salt as the ocean.

We are driving down highway US 395 which runs north to south on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The moisture is dropped on the western side of the mountains so this side is dry but still very scenic.

We are passing through Conway Summit at 8,138 feet.
Mono Lake and US 395 are almost 2000 feet below.

Mono Lake is 32.5 feet below it's normal level.
Because it is a salt lake and is fed by springs these Tufa Towers grow.
Calcium from the freshwater springs combines with the salty lake water and produces the calcium carbonate Tufa's. This all happens under water. As the lake level drops the Tufas are left exposed.

These Tufas used to be under water.

Looking at the 12000 ft. mountains in the background.

Listening to a nature talk by the US Forestry Service.

There are many migrating birds in the lake.

Unfortunately, too many people break the Tufa as they walk by.

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