Mono Lake, California, made me feel like I was visiting a lake on the moon!
The bright blue topaz coloured lake is 2.5 times as salty as the ocean and is very alkaline. This is a result of salts and minerals washing into the lake from the Sierra Nevada streams, evaporating fresh water, and the fact that the lake has no outlet.
The lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America being over 1 million years old. The spectacular “tufa towers” are calcium-carbonate spires formed by the interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. The area is a reserve both to protect the tufas and to protect the thousands of California Gulls who come to breed here every year due to the endless supply of brine shrimp.
I was lucky in that my visit coincided with the full moon at twilight! The moon rose at sunset and was still visible at sunrise the following morning.
Mono Lake after Sunset
Mono Lake at Sunrise