Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday - Mono Lake

Geez, how many perfect days can we take?    Once again, beautiful sunrise over the mountains, cold but warming nicely just in time for coffee outside.    We packed a lunch and loaded dogs, off to find a beach made for a picnic on one of the string of pearls along the June Lake Loop Road.  Will it be June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, Grant Lake,  or even Mono Lake?

we find ourselves parked  in a small herd of mule deer's  private home.  whenever we step out of Beluga, we feel eyes watching us....Can you see why they are called "mule" deer???

aspen trees are beautiful, top to bottom at this time of year

Silver Lake
You can't help but understand why this area  is called the 'Switzerland of California"

We chose Grant Lake for our picnic lunch today. Pristine, clear water,  no one around and a long, wide beach all to ourselves.  We set up our chairs, put out lunch and started enjoying ourselves post haste.
Turkey sandwiches and choc. chip cookies never tasted so good!

the dogs loved their freedom, time to wade in the icy water, run around like lunatics, or just stretch out in the sand

I'm not gonna swim out for that ball,  its too cold - you do it, no, YOU do it.
Mom threw it, she should go...

it was HIS ball, he had to go and bring it back

Sasha would rather have Dave throw a stick - tennis balls are for idiots

after we dried the dogs off, we put them in the car so we could continue to enjoy the sun.
Lewis was sooo cold, he shook like a quaking aspen, waiting for us to come back in the car.

we moved the chairs closer to the jeep to keep the dogs happy.  Dave hung the wet towels all over  to dry.
After a while, we got back in the jeep and drove the 5 miles to Mono Lake to see if we could get up close to the famous Tufa formations.   We found a dirt road that took us to Navy Beach and there we were able to walk right down to the water's edge.  During the cold war, Navy beach was home to numerous "experiments" dubbed "Seismic tests" by various branches of the military.   In 1962 all evidence of the site and its "experiments" were removed and the area turned over to the National Forest Service..Hmmmm, I wonder what they did there.  Will we glow in the dark tonight after walking the beach?

Tufas are formed here when fresh water springs containing calcium bubble up through the carbonate rich lake water

Mono Lake is another remnant of an ancient sea that covered much of the surrounding areas. (think Pyramid Lake in Nevada) It is immediately east of Yosemite National Park and has no outlet.   Numerous streams have entered it for thousands of years, carrying minerals, evaporation has removed water from it, and as a result it is an extremely salty, alkaline body of water with a unique and fragile ecosystem.   Flocks of American Coots, Eared Grebes, Ruddy Ducks all stop over on their yearly migrations, to feast on the abundant brine shrimp that live here.  Ospreys build their nests atop the furthest Tufa formations.   A fascinating, but sort of smelly body of water!


Dave clamored over the hard tufa formations on the shore.  I stayed back and held the dogs, can you see us in the far right of the picture

our ride home

What did I say in the beginning of the post?    How many beautiful days you take????

1 comment:

  1. OOOOOh....let's do the dog dialogue again soon!! That was so funny ...I was laughing so hard I thought I'd wake up walter upstairs! I love this blog!!!!!!!!!

    I'll probably go through "withdrawal" once you guys are back up the road!

    Who's idea was it to send poor Lewis out in that cccccold, chhhhhilly water??? Poor baby.