Mono Lake and on to Reno

The next morning, much refreshed after a clean shower and a good night’s sleep, we stopped at Mono Lake before heading north to Reno. 

Mono Lake has a very impressive visitor center,


No, I don’t know who those people are [g].

We not only learned about the geology of the lake, but also about its natural history and human history.  I must say that I’m very glad I wasn’t an Indian in this area.  They apparently lived on larvae harvested from the lake.

The lake itself is beautiful, in an extremely austere way.


From the patio behind the visitor center. The beige things in the water are tufa formations, which are a kind of rock that forms in water this full of chemicals.

And another view.  The lake is many times as chemically saturated as the Great Salt Lake.

 We stopped at the Mono Basin Historical Museum, too, but unfortunately it was closed.

The building is an old schoolhouse.

 There was a rather odd-looking building in the yard, though,


I’ve never seen an upside-down building before.

 After that we headed north from Lee Vining through the desert along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevadas, through several tiny towns with gas prices that made me really glad I’d paid that $4.20-something in Yosemite.  These prices were almost up to $5.  As soon as we crossed the state line into Nevada, though, they dropped back to around $3.65.  Politics does strange things to gas prices…

We arrived in Reno in time for a late lunch (just fast food), and then visited our first quilt shop of the trip.  Both of us walked out with fabric, and I found a couple of patterns, too.  Then we went to the strip and found the con hotel.  It took a bit of maneuvering and figuring out how things worked, but we finally did, and found ourselves in the lap of luxury, for about $20 more a night than we’d paid for that tent cabin in Yosemite.  We went to register for the World Science Fiction convention, held in Reno’s convention center, which looked very retro-sixties but was air-conditioned, which was all that mattered at that point.

It was in the 90s and single-digit humidity the whole time we were in Reno.  I’ve never felt so much like a potato chip in my life.