Mono Lake was our one and only camping success. We booked two nights in advanced at the Mono Vista RV Park. The camping area was well maintained with a trash can and picnic table at each site. The facilities and laundry room were also very clean. Why couldn’t all campgrounds be like this?
Once the tent was set up, we drove to the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve.
In case you’re wondering, tufa is a porous calcium rock formed by precipitation. They form near mineral springs and can be found all over Mono Lake.
The reserve was beautiful, but the people sucked. We stayed to take photos after sunset and were joined by about thirty other people. It was fine for a while until the reserve felt like it was shrinking. Crowds are one thing, but I need space. When people start encroaching on personal space, it’s time for me to leave. Safe to say that I was relieved to go back to the campground, away from everyone.
Bodie Ghost Town
I have a thing for ghost towns. There’s something about structures that have withstood the test of time that really pique my curiosity. Bodie was no different. You can’t say no to an abandoned mining town.
Bodie is an hour drive from the lake. The majority of the way is paved highway. The last 3 miles are rocky, unpaved, and a major headache. Be prepared.
The town began as a small mining camp in 1859. It had little to offer with two mining companies that were forced to close after their mills failed. Years later, when another mining company discovered a gold-bearing ore, the town quickly transformed into a booming city. People moved to the area hoping to find their own piece of the fortune. The prosperity continued until 1913, when the mines finally closed. Bodie was declared a National Historic Landmark in the 1960s.
Yosemite Nation Park – 12 Miles on RT 120
We stayed in Lee Vining to be close to one of the park entrances. But before we left, we found out that the entrance on 120 was closed due to snow. It was 80°! So we had to see for ourselves.
The snow nearly flooded the creeks and rivers along the road. Little waterfalls formed down the sides of rocky cliffs. People were even skiing! Not something you see in the middle of June.
We really enjoyed our time around Mono Lake. Though I wish our camping excursion could have continued, I’m thankful that we were able to do as much as we did.
The next morning, we drove to the other park entrance in Yosemite.