Lee Vining California and Mono Lake

June 29, 2022

Sherri and I

Our trip to Yosemite we were supposed to be hiking and backpacking to Half Dome. With a failed attempt at backpacking due to the Altitude and probably nerves I had to turn back. We were at around 10,000 ft. I was not feeling well. Sherri and I turned around and went back to Toulumne Meadows. When we got back there I was feeling much better. We decided to get in the car and find a hotel. The nearest one was about 50 miles away in Lee Vining, California. Population 398! It was absolutely in the middle of no where. It was just as far to the next town. This was an adorable town. It didn’t have any of todays comforts. Not one fast food restaurant, CVS, grocery stores or hospital.

We got a hotel room for 2 nights. After we checked in the altitude finally caught up with Sherri. She stayed in bed for nearly a day. At that point I just explored this tiny town. I went in every store, down every street. There were 2 churches, an upside down house, 1 school with a graduating class of 8. I cannot imagine growing up here.

Just outside of town was Mono Lake. It is over 1 million years old and covers 65 square miles. It is the largest saltwater lake. It is much saltier than the ocean so it does not have any fish. It has “Tufa’s” which are salt spires that are formed when fresh water springs meet the alkaline water. It was completely amazing. The area had a sulfur smell. People do not seam to swim in the lake but you can. Since it is much saltier than the ocean you would be very buoyant. Old timers believe the salty water will cure many ailments. We did not see any boats. This is a state park but California has been diverting water away from the lake for many years causing the lake to decrease.

In the museum in town they had a beautiful photo of a sunset. Pardon the glare from my camera. The man working told me all about the lake and the area. It was just an unexpected surprise on our trip.

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