Day 42 – Pine Creek to Mono Lake

Overland Camping Roadtrip Blog

Travel Day 42:

Total km driven to date: 7933km

Total km walked to date: 321.82km

Pine Creek, CA – Mono Lake, CA

122km drive

3.58km on foot

                Got up this morning and did some photography of the various wildlife around camp, some lizards on the rocks, some birds in the trees etc. Had a leisurely breakfast and then decided that cold or not I was going to wash up in the creek right behind camp….the one from the beautiful pictures! I stripped down and climbed in with my soap and shampoo and had an ice-cold but refreshing wash in the cool mountain water. Sitting back up at camp drying off and almost got brained by the largest pinecone I have ever seen. The camper was right underneath a huge bristlecone pine and occasionally it likes to drop big green unopened cones that are larger than your two fists put together. Which would explain the super loud bang on the roof of the camper last night in the middle of the night.

After that I headed back down to 395 and north towards Mammoth Lakes, only about 1/2hr away. Cruised down the main street of another typical ski town, neat lodges and buildings lining the road and the ski hill easily seen in the distance. At about 8000ft the whole town is filled with massive pine trees, I’ve determined that in California the trees start at about 7000ft, lower than that is just scrubland. We headed out of town with the plan of getting close to the entrance to Yosemite National Park tonight so we can get an early morning in the park tomorrow. We came around the corner near to the turn for Hwy 120 which leads into the park and see the massive Mono Lake in front of us. I turn down one of the small roads and wind down the sandy trail to a spot close to the water which is just dominated with what are called Tufa’s. The look like mineral deposits that can stand up to 10ft tall, almost like the landscape in Bryce Canyon. Of course we had to go down and check it out, which turned into a maze of small paths around the sharp prickly bushes to get to the lake and the Tufas lining the shore. It was an effort to get down there but worth it to check out, Ax went for a swim but the water smelled a lot like sulphur and had a bit of a yellow tint where Ax stirred it up so I stayed out of the water. Back to the truck as the clouds rolled in to have an early night to get ready for Yosemite tomorrow!

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