Day 2 was spent going to Bodie State Park, CA, where a ghost town stands pretty much in tact at 9000 elevation in the desert mountains a couple hours south of Reno. Scott Brown from Jeep brought a couple JK's, a Grand Cherokee and a Ram Power Wagon for us to drive, enjoy and experience.
Our first stop was Mono Lake South Tufa where we enjoyed a tour of the tufa towers (calcium carbonate) standing in the salty lake, and even learned how to make Tufa.
Our tour guide, Bartshe Miller from the Mono Lake Committee showed us the wildlife that lives in the lake, like these brine shrimp. Birds by the millions come to Mono Lake which makes it a birders paradise.
More on the Mono Lake Committee and their work to preserve the lake and its wildlife here:
Lunch is always a good stop and this one is at the Tioga Lodge, overlooking Mono Lake right off Hwy. 395 south of Lee Vining. Gloria (middle) gave us the history and tour.
Gloria, the owner, explained how the lodge buildings are quaint and rustic, but very comfortable. Several of the buildings that make up the lodge were transported from Bodie during "the day."
More on Tioga Lodge and restaurant here:
We stopped to see some naturally formed fissures near Mono Lake on our way to Bodie. These were much like slot canyons, except they were formed under the lake in the distant past by an underwater volcanic eruption followed by rapid cooling of the ejected material.
Good thing we had Jeeps because the road to these babies was 4x4 only.
More on Mono County and the eastern sierra here:
The good folks at Mono County Tourism gave us a great day in the eastern Sierras.
More on Bodie at:
We ended the evening with an incredible dinner hosted by the Virginia Creek Settlement (restaurant, lodge and camp ground) just south of Bridgeport, CA. More on the Settlement here:
Many thanks to all the folks who put together this amazing Fall Conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of CA. More on OWAC here: http://www.owac.org/