Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Scenic Eastern Sierra By-Way

We left Carson City this morning on Highway 395.  Just had to find another title for this posting and keep it from being boring.  Our drive today was far from boring, I must say that this was the most scenic portion of this highway for us so far.  And it was very slow going for us today, with several summits from 7,000 to 8,000 feet.  Road construction also slowed us down.
Pictured above is Topaz Lake.  I think after this there were many signs warning us to watch for deer on the road as they are in the process of migration.  We  saw no  deer, probably wrong time of the day.
Through out the day we had many wonderful scenic surprises around every bend in the road, from towering rock formations,  and deep canyons to the snow covered Sierras.
In the lower elevations there were the sage desert plains.  Higher elevations were greener with pine and other varieties of trees.
It was at this summit, Devil's Gate, where we stopped for awhile so John could repair the steps of our rig- they were not retracting normally.  There is a historical marker here, which I then had time to read.  Apparently in 1844, in this area, John Fremont and his small band of half-starved men (including Kit Carson) had to abandon the howitzer (1500 pound gun) they had been dragging along  over deep snow.   After crossing the Sierra Nevada they then made it safely to their destination in Ca.

For some time, as we were coming down the summit, we followed a very pretty rushing mountain stream.  Snow is still melting and swelling every rivulet of water.

At the next summit we were able to look at the highway below and Mona Lake.

Mona Lake is called a saline soda lake.  It is a fascinating body of water with alkali flats and tufa towers, which are limestone formations in the water. The lake has no outlet, which creates a high level of salt in it.
After Mona Lake we noticed a strange cloud formation off in the distance.   Getting closer to the area we became suspicious that it was a forest fire because it was drifting more like smoke and had a brown color to it.  When we drove through Nevada last Saturday we smelled smoke and some of it even drifted over the highway.  Could see no fire, however.  Many forests fires have been reported in that state because of  hot and dry weather.  Am sure this probably also holds true for California.  We went through several small rain showers today, hopefully it will have some impact on the fires.
We only traveled 150 miles today, it was slow going but very enjoyable.

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