View Full Version : California pics, part 4 - Mono Basin

Wicked Dark
06-09-2011, 07:16 AM
Mono basin was created by volcanic activity, some very recent indeed (last eruption 650 years ago give or take). The result is a very light soil with so much drainage that it all ends up in Mono Lake. There are still craters left from some volcanos and we climbed and drove around a few of them. Here's what we saw -

View of Mono Lake from Panum crater (the 'new' crater) at about 7am -


Recently burned desert around the Mono Craters (old craters and very soft and windblown, alas unphotographable due to lighting conditions) -


By this time the wind had kicked up considerably. In the 20 mph range all the time with gusts around 40mph. It would get worse as we went along, but for now I could get out of the car and shoot, although I didn't dare change lenses. Grit everywhere! I swear it took 10 minutes to get it out of my hair in the shower, and I wore a hat out there.

But bleak as that section was, you can see in this next one how the desert eventually bounces back after a burn. If you can stop looking at the clouds that is. I had to stop and shoot them often, inhaling more dust and grit. Damn pumice is unbelivably light. I swear it can fly without the wind.


Here's the best road out there, West Portal Road. It's wide, flat and straight, the complete opposite of all the others we drove on. It used to lead to the west side mining camps that sprang up in the 19th century. Now it leads to other roads that carve into the canyons of the Mono craters.


Oh and one last peek at those clouds! You can see the beginnings of them in one of the Mono Lake shots from part 3 and the first shot in this thread. They're lenticular clouds and my favorites.


Anyway, more volcanic stuff later. We went to a pumice pit!! Oh yeah, that was exciting.

06-09-2011, 08:44 AM
wow. those clouds are amazing. I think I would have been overwhelmed at times with the vistas and what to shoot!

06-09-2011, 09:51 AM
Very nice, love the colours and the composition of them all and just great scenery.

Wicked Dark
06-09-2011, 12:33 PM
Thanks guys.
Yeah, the Eastern Sierras are a bit intimiating and overwhelming. I was so the tourist.

06-11-2011, 07:55 PM
Love the desolate feeling from shot #2 with them beautiful background, and the roadway shot comes in a close second for me. Very well captured WD.