Mono Lake and June Lake Loop, Sierras


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-10-2009

Ken and I both grew up in Southern California and we remember hearing about Mono Lake and how Los Angeles was dependent on this beautiful lake as a big water source.  Having now learned the story of Mono Lake, it  makes one wonder why more effort wasn’t made by Los Angeles to assess other water sources.  Here is the low down. . .in 1941, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power began diverting Mono Lake’s tributary streams 350 south to meet the growing demands of a thirsty Los Angeles population.  The volume of water in Mono Lake was cut in half while its salinity doubled.  The ecosystem of Mono Lake began to collapse.  In 1978, Mono Lake Committee was formed to help protect Mono Lake.  Much has been done since 1978 to help bring Mono Lake’s ecosystem back to its delicate balance with more work still needed to ensure its ultimate survival. 

My sister Robin, husband Steve and son Paul have visited the June Lake area for many years.  I have seen many a photo and hoped one day, we too would find ourselves in this beautiful place. Finally we arrived at the June Loop and feel in love. We reached our campground, Oh Ridge State Park, and found a spot overlooking June Lake. The day was unseasonably warm (75 degrees) and we relaxed with the beautiful backdrop of the Sierras.

On Saturday Andrew went fishing and we all took longs walks around the area. The autumn leaves were ablaze in gold and when the wind picked up, it was as if the air was filled with golden snowflakes. There were photographers everywhere taking in these amazing fall colors. Sunday we awoke to fierce winds and cooler temperatures. The weather (as my sister warned us) could change on a dime in the Sierras and we felt like we were entering winter. The kids really wanted to play a game of volleyball on the beach of June Lake. We had a blast as the wind was a strong factor on where the ball ended up going. It was parents against  kids and we were beat badly. This was due in total part to my complete inability to dig, spike or serve. Fun nonetheless! We had some young guys camping out in a tent next to us and it was hard to watch them try to endure the strong winds with their wimpy tent. We brought them over homemade warm banana bread at night as we felt we wanted to do something for these poor guys. When we woke up, they were gone and their tent, while still there, was badly shredded.  We assumed they took off for a place with wind protection. Snow was forecasted for the next afternoon so we packed up Monday morning and headed to dry and warm Death Valley.   


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