Another panorama taken from a 4×5 Fujicrhome transparency shot on my trip to the eastern Sierra. This view is from the north, looking down at the lake from the top of that volcanic upthrust where the fissures are that I mentioned in the previous post.
Mono Lake is like the Great Salt Lake in Utah or the Dead Sea in Israel – it has no natural drainage, so over time, the waters have become super alkaline with all the minerals that leach out of the rocks and soil around it. I wouldn’t drink it, and although you can swim in it if you’re so inclined, it’s not a pleasant feeling. The mineral content makes it such that it is easy to float on the surface – the ducks and other aquatic birds seem to float on top of the water, instead of in it. I have a few photos of the tufa formations for which the lake is famous that I’ll scan and post later. The tufas are formed when pure freshwater from underground springs enters the lake, causing the minerals in the water around it to sediment out and form hollow columns in fantastic shapes.