Once we were out of the park we made a quick detour to Lake Mono, which is a large shallow saline lake. It’s home of tufas, shrimps, alkali flies and avocets. The Tufas are limestone towers, a little like stalagmites, which protrude from the water and give the landscape a very other-worldly look. The American Avocets eat the tiny brine shrimp which live in the lake, and I think it’s the shrimp that give the lake it’s peculiar smell which is just like the dried food that you feed to tropical fish. We also discovered at the visitor centre that the larvae of the alkali flies used to feed the indigenous people who lived near the lake, although when we were there we just saw birds trying to scoop the flies up by running along with their beaks open!
Once we’d had a walk around the lake, we headed for highway 395 which would take us towards Death Valley. I just love the highway signs!