Ancient Lake - Part II

The sun was already setting as we reached the next location. We were the only car at the trail head parking lot. The plan was to wait until midnight and then set out to photograph the Milky Way over the lake. As we were getting ready to get some shut eye the thick clouds began to roll in. Mother nature had other plans, there would be no astrophotography that night. We decided to shoot sunrise instead. What followed next were the most uncomfortable 5 hours of sleep of my life. The car was loaded with all of our gear from Yosemite, there was no room left for comfort.

It took what seemed like forever for the first glows of sunrise to appear on the horizon, just beyond the mountains. The landscape slowly began to light up, and we finally got our first glimpse of what the darkness had been hiding. An enormous lake stretched across the land, it's water was calm and still with a silver color giving it a mirror like effect. Limestone rock Tufa towers stood along it's shoreline,  other towers protruded it's deeper waters forming a silhouette against the sunrise. Wow... what an unbelievable sight, we took a couple of minutes to recompose ourselves before we set out to the shoreline to photograph the most beautiful sunrise to date.

 Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake, California

We hiked about half a mile across the salty clay like mud that lined the shore. The mud was more like cement, we kept getting stuck and were constantly launching rescue missions for our boots that kept getting pulled of our feet. Alas we reached the more solid Tufa rock foundations. The shoreline was now bustling with life as hundreds of wild birds began to emerge from their nests. Sunrise was now in full glory, shining through the clouds casting orange colors across the sky and a purple hue on the horizon that reflected brilliantly off the lake. We stayed here until the sun grew high and strong. Satisfied with our shots we began our half mile trek through the mud lands back to the trail head.

We cooked breakfast and heated up some coffee as we marveled at the views. Loaded up the car again and it was time to get back on the road, for there was still one more location left on this amazing adventure. The last location was the most extreme of all, it was among the driest and hottest places in the world. We would have to drive 200 miles south to get to it.  Along our journey we passed many......


To be continued..... 

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