Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mono Lake

The kids and I drove down and made a stop at Mono Lake. What a strangely beautiful place it is! They have a great new (at least new since I was last there years ago) State Park Visitor Center. They have some really interesting displays not only about the lake itself but also about the Native people who lived there.
One of our favorite exhibits was three ordinary salt shakers one with about 1/2 inch of salt which represented the ocean, one with about 1 inch of salt which represented the Great Salt Lake, and the third with almost 2 inches of salt, that one represented Mono lake! It is crazy salty, believe us we tasted it!
We also learned why there are bubbles anywhere the waves lap up (it is super windy so there are small waves), and we have a recipe to make our own Mono water:
1 quart fresh water
2 1/2 Tbsp. salt
5 Tbsp. baking soda
2 tsp. epsom salts
a pinch of borax
a pinch of detergent

The baking soda or calcium carbonate is what forms the tufas that make mono lake so interesting to see! After Jake's legs dried they were white from all the dried salt on his feet!
The small islands in mono lake are breeding grounds for the California Gulls. They fly all the way from the Pacific ocean to lay eggs here. Also out in the middle you can see the atoll of a former volcano.
This was a wonderful stop on our very volcanic adventure!!