Saturday, February 23, 2019
What's the Most Alien Landscape You've Ever Explored? Here's a Candidate
This year was different. We arrived at the park in midst of one of the most intense storm events of the year. Record snow and rain was falling in the coastal regions and the Sierra Nevada, but we had mostly benign conditions during our journey. But the storms caused the closure of the road that we needed to access Aguereberry Point, and construction had closed the access to Mosaic Canyon. We needed a last geological stop and I remembered how we often could see the pinnacles in the distance as we headed home. Why not see if we could get there? We headed south on the five-mile gravel road outside of Trona and had little problem reaching the pinnacles. We started exploring. I was awe-struck.
So what really happened?
More recently formed towers are visible at Mono Lake near Lee Vining and Tioga Pass in the Sierra Nevada. They were still forming when Los Angeles diverted the water from streams flowing into Mono Lake in 1940. The lake began to dry, exposing the tufa towers.
There was a lot to see in Death Valley and the surrounding region during our journey last week. More blogs will follow! And while you are waiting for the next entry, tell me about the most alien landscape you've ever seen...