Mono Lake was about 10 miles off of our route during our American Road Trip. We had just come from Yosemite National Park and witnessed a beautiful landscapes there and were in the mood for more. We had heard that giant monoliths jut out of the water at Mono Lake making for interesting rock formations off the shore. We had to see this lunar landscape for ourselves.
At one time, this lake flourished, but it was in the 1940′s that Los Angeles started diverting water from six mountain streams in the mono basin. This lake is a spring fed lake that has no outlet. Over time the water simply evaporated. These giant rock formations were actually underground Springs that had become petrified. The lake shrank to half its volume and dropped 50 vertical feet! It left these springs exposed and since no more water was feeding them, they dried up and solidified.
These rocks are almost alien like and you feel as if you are on the moon. But if we were underwater and having a look at them, we’d see water swirling out like vegetable oil churning in the salty water. Yes, mono lake is a salty lake and like the Dead Sea, if you swim in it, you will float.
There aren’t any facilities to wash off after swimming in Mono Lake, so we chose not to. I remember how much the Dead Sea stung my skin and it wasn’t a comfortable feeling. We couldn’t wait to rinse off while in Jordan. With Mono Lake being out in the middle of nowhere, we didn’t want to have to sit in the car for a couple of hours to find a place with fresh water. Instead, we enjoyed the beauty of these rocks and felt satisfied in knowing that the water to Mono Lake has been diverted back, and since 1993, the water has been rising and the wildlife has been flourishing.
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