The June Lake and Mono Lake area are astonishing. Our mouths are gaping open most of the time. We headed out early this morning to complete the June Lake Loop and then spent time at various levels observing Mono Lake. The Visitor Center has a wonderful 20 minute film on the history of the lake and native people. There is also an incredible chunk of local obsidian. This is an area of fire and ice.
We then traveled to Bodie, a former mining and now ghost town,that sits at 8400 feet. It is a fascinating place but how gold was ever found so out in the middle of nowhere I will never understand. It is hard to imagine life there on an exposed plateau that gets 100 mph winds, with winter temperatures at twenty below and summer scorchingly hot with absolutely no shade.
We again came back by Mono Lake, simply stunned at the beauty. We have now seen it three different times of day, in three different types of light. I see how one could just sit and photograph the lake and surroundings all day.
We returned to more views as we passed shimmering lakes. Hiking trails abound and I could happily stay here a month, but the snow is coming and we are hoping by leaving early enough tomorrow we can visit the Bristlecone Pines at 10,000 feet. People are scurrying around here as today is expected to be the last day the Tioga Pass out of Yosemite is open for the season.
For me, the gold in this area is in the air, beauty and views. Where we are staying is compared to Switzerland. One could just sit and watch the enchantment of the shifting light and there is an incredible amount to do. This is a place of beauty, peace, exhilaration, and smiles.