Mono Lake was the most unusual place we have ever kayaked. What a unique and special place. It lies just to the East of Yosemite in its own special valley. In the spring and summer clouds of California Gulls float over the lake. Over 80 percent of the gulls in California return to the lake to nest and raise their young. By 1979 stream diversions precipitously lowered the lake's level and greatly increased the concentration of salt and sodium bicarbonate in the lake. These and other minerals make Mono Lake 2.5 times saltier than the ocean and 100 times more alkaline. There are no fish but the water is rich in algae, brine shrimp and billions of alkali flies. The flies cluster in masses near the shore and provide a rich food supply for many birds. Mono Lake is a hugely important bird support area. The lake is loaded with uniquely scenic tufas. Tufas are a variety of limestone formed by precipitate of carbonate minerals. The tufas project in myriads of columns from the lake and present Rorschach like shapes for one to contemplate. This is a very fine tuned ecosystem critical to the survival of bird life in many areas. Pictures tell the story best. After our paddle we headed for the nearby old town of Lee Vining. Gold was discovered nearby by William Bodie in 1859 and turned out to be the greatest miming bonanza in the eastern Sierra. The old ghosttown Bodie lies nearby Lee Vining. Bodie became raucous and wild in those days and many of the old structures still stand today as skeletons of that famed era. We had fabulous Bar B Cue at Bodie Mikes in Lee Vining. It was another red letter day!!

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