Winter at Mono Lake
In order to celebrate the holidays with my family, I had to get to Southern California from Sacramento. Although the Sacramento International Airport does have a brilliant new terminal with both Southwest Airlines and Jet Blue flying out of it–it took me 1.5 hours to get through security and to the gate, when I flew Veteran’s Day weekend. This didn’t include having to park a car and take a tram. So–let’s say, 2 hours to get to the gate, 1.5 hour flight–wait for baggage and get a rental car another hour easily–that is 4.5 hours. So, I decided to drive:) Renting a big car in LA–SUV, because I can’t stand having little bitty car is another expense I saved driving!
The most direct route is I-5 and I could make it in about 5 hours. Easy…and very boring.
Last weekend, I saw a Tweet that said that Highway 120 was open. This is a highway that connects Yosemite National Park from the Valley at 4000 feet through Tioga Pass at 9953 feet to Highway 395. Being able to access the High Country in Yosemite was inviting. Plus, another benefit of driving Highway 395 is that I would have to go right past Mono Lake. Since my destination was LA–I would also have to go through Lone Pine, which is the base of Whitney Portals and Alabama Hills. That will be another post…
So, instead of taking 361 miles via I-5, I saw a sign as I reached highway 395 that said Los Angeles 399 miles–that was after I had already gone over 100 miles to get there. Reached my brother’s house with 471.7 showing on the mileage.
Mono Lake State Park was slated for closure, but fortunately came off the list a short while back!
Lee Vining is the town closest to the South Tufa viewing area. This was my first winter visit, and not my last for sure!
My first shots are from sunset on Tuesday. Not much color to speak of and very few clouds in the sky to be found–but still such beauty and captivating!
The temperature on Wednesday morning as I drove back to get sunrise shots was 12 degrees. No wind, but quite chilly! My first attempt at night photography…
Have a wonderful holiday season–may it be filled with joy, friends, and family–plus your camera!
Love them all!! Maybe you should make a mono lake calendar.
December 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm
That’s a great idea–then I have a reason to visit numerous times a year!!!!
December 24, 2011 at 12:17 am
Lovely scenic shots! It’s so interesting how the lake looks different throughout the day. Lighting really makes a difference. All are beautiful! Cool evening image. I will have to experiment with shooting at night someday.
December 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm
These photos are absolutely breathtaking! Keep visiting Mono Lake!
January 4, 2012 at 3:50 am
Thank you, Linda–I will be thankful to do just that! Always happy to share:)
January 17, 2012 at 2:42 am