The Long Path to Mono Lake


I saw this quote on my friend Yunkin’s facebook earlier today, and it seemed perfect

‎”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

The Long Path to Mono Lake

If you ever find yourself in the Yosemite area, take a few hours to stop out to Mono lake (not pronounced like the sickness, but with long o’s, like Moe-no).  We had a slight run in with a large patch of Poison Oak, and with some worry of cross contamination, decided that today would be the best time to get some laundry done in town, which consequently was right on the way to Mono lake.

Crossing the Tioga Pass on your way from Yosemite to Mono Lake is beautiful, and it’s only open for a portion of the season, because of it’s high elevation and snow levels.  The problem was that we had all of our pants in that bag of ‘probably has Poison Oak on it’ clothes.  Luckily we both still had a pair of warm socks, and our windbreak coats, although getting out of the car in 40°F weather caused the shoots to end a little quicker than they normally would have.

Ellery Lake


Luckily, Mono lake is significantly lower elevation than the pass (over 3,000 ft!), and therefore much warmer.  By the time we had finished our afternoon of wandering and exploring, it was nearly swimsuit weather!

I know I’ve described several places in California as being very ‘surface of the moon’ -esque, but Mono Lake has such an interesting and strange feeling to it that maybe it was even more abnormal than the moon.   On the day we drove in, there were these extreme low hanging clouds above the lake.  Up in the mountains, the clouds were wispy and there were blue skies, but above the lake, they really increased in drama, which I was totally okay with.

The shot below was actually the ONLY time we were ON the path at all, as the lake had so much to explore along it’s shores and around the Tufa column formations caused by the alkaline waters and salinity of the lake.

Mono Lake William Woodward