Summer Is For Adventure: Mono Lake

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Is it just me or did summer disappear with the blink of an eye? It feels like it was just yesterday that the sun stayed out longer for us to play for a few more hours. But I can’t say I’m completely sad that the season is over because I did get some pretty sweet adventures checked off within the short three months. The last of which took place in Lee Vining, CA.


Mono Lake has been a bucket list destination for quite some time, and this past week the stars graciously aligned for me. I got to spend my final hours of summer at Mono Lake and give a proper farewell to the last summer sunset of 2014. It did not disappoint.

On the last day of summer, I drove the 5.5 hours to Lee Vining and checked into my cozy room at Lakeview Lodge, which was just a few miles from Mono Lake. From there, first stop: Mono Basin Visitor Center. Here you could read about the history of the lake and learn all sorts of facts, like what “tufa” is…calcium carbonate formed by the mixing of waters of different compositions. And you’d also learn that Mono Lake is 2.5x saltier and 1,000x more alkaline than the ocean. (I really should have taken advantage of this fact and learned how to swim there..).

From the center you could follow a trail down to the lake’s edge, but I decided to drive another 15 minutes south to the more scenic South Tufa formations. I was surprised to see so many people there on a Monday evening but most were visiting from other countries. And despite the crowd, the area was large enough to have my own private photo shoot. I really couldn’t detect any unbearable smells, but the swarms of alkali flies seriously freaked me out. You’d think it was the water’s edge moving, but one step closer and you’d  see  feel a wave of flies hover towards you.

At first I had no idea of where to start. Once at the lake’s edge all you could see was water, tufa, tufa, people, tufa, dirt, grass, tufa, water. But then I was snapping away with my iPhone, experimenting with Hyperlase, posing like a camera ho, and navigating through tufas for the best spot to watch the sunset.

My favorite part about this place was seeing the transition of the colors. Yes, Los Angeles has some stunning sunsets but it was different here. The air was clean and the colors were so pure. A bold, blue sky at 5PM melted into a peachy yellow shade, which turned into a strip of bubble gum pink by 7PM. I took over 300 photos in that one evening, and can only hope that at least one of them did the sunset justice.

Mono Lake was a perfect last summer adventure and I couldn’t be more happy with the trip. Sometimes life works in your favor and when that happens you need to just go with it and be happy. No complaints here. So stay tuned because I have some more fun and exciting news coming up in the next few posts, and I can’t wait to share them :)