Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fossil Falls (2) - Death Valley & Owens Lake



I _really_ liked my site at Fossil Falls, so I decided to stay another night and go check out the flower situation in Death Valley from here.   100 degree plus temps were predicted in Death Valley so I started early to make my trek.  It was a pretty brown and boring trek to the first overlook in the park.  I could count the number of flowers I saw on one hand.  If you have followed me at all, you know I am WAY into flowers.  I made the decision to turn around & go check out the lake and snow capped mountains I had seen back at my turn off from Hwy 395 instead of doing more in Death Valley and I was glad I did!
Loved how the dry mtns on the east and snow capped Sierra's came together here.
The lake I saw was actually a ‘dry’ lake that apparently has been the source of much controversy.  It is called Owens Lake it was apparently drained by overuse from the city of Los Angeles. The resulting dry lake spread dust contaminants throughout the area.  Lawsuits resulted in a low water level being maintained in the lake.   The result for me on this day was good birding and great reflections of the snow capped Sierra mountains.  There are a series of dike roads that you can meander around on throughout the lake bed.  I meandered until I got to a place where there were no tire tracks and the seagulls sitting all over the ‘road’ where looking at me like “WTH?”.  It took me a while to negotiate my way back to a real road exit through the maze.  The views & reflections in every direction were really beautiful.



I found my way back to pavement and back to my  Fossil Falls campsite.  The day ended with a great sunset and an eagle soaring through the full moon rise.  Does life get any better!?

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