I really loved driving through the Sierra Nevada mountains. As you cross over and descend into the rain shadow on the east side the scenery totally changes from thick green forest to arid desert.
We were all a bit sore after our recent hike, and this area is dotted with natural hot springs. The ranger at Tahoe had recommended one of his favourite ‘hippy dips’ just off Route 395. We got to there pretty late in the day and were greeted by a naked couple just leaving the pools, no tan lines. The water bubbling from the ground was almost too hot to touch and it was a stinking hot day, so we were a bit hesitant at first. But, the water in the pools was bearable once you got used to it, so we ended up relaxing for a while and having a really good soak while overlooking the Eastern Sierra mountains… togs on.
From there we headed into Bodie, an old ghost town out in the middle of nowhere. At one time the town had a population of about 6000 people. But, the gold mining in this region didn’t last and eventually everyone just up and left.
It’s quite an eery place, as many of the buildings have been left just as they were. When you peek through the windows you can see the old furniture and belongings still intact, just a bit dusty.
Mono Lake is a salty old lake. Don’t taste it (Bec did, and she doesn’t recommend it). It’s a pretty weird place with lots of unique little creatures living in it, mainly itty bitty translucent shrimp and flies that hatch their larvae underwater. And there are these cool tufa rock formations that are created by the mineral springs bubbling up through the water.
If you check out the inside sleeve of Pink Floyd’s ‘I Wish You Were Here’ there is a sweet photo of someone doing a handstand in the water here. Holding a handstand for that long would have been a pretty rugged experience because the water really stings your eyes.
We had a little van trouble that evening. For some reason it was sputtering and misfiring, then the fuel pump just kept running after I turned off the key. In true Oscar style, it happened at the perfect time, right near a picnic area, which became our campsite for the night. I tinkered around with it for a while and eventually it fixed itself… so I’m still confused.
We needed an early start the next day, so the girls had a sleep-in while we drove into town.
The Lady Lumps