© wim melis

Mono Lake - South Tufa

South Tufa, some hidden gem at sunset. Driving from Yosemite towards Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake seems a bit dull. This is far from reality: it is the subject of the so-called Water Wars, where Los Angeles is since decades using these lakes (Owens Lake is another one) as a water reservoir and tapping massively water from these lakes. Now some agreements were made to level up the water again.

These rockformations are witnesses of the massive water tapping. Ospreys are nesting here, but you need to have an eagle eye to see them (or binoculars) .

Route 66

Seligman - Truxton - Kingman: the part of Route 66 we drove. It was a disillusion (ironically the only one on our road trip this summer) : cheap souvenirs, some car wrecks alongside the road, a few interesting places, but most of all a route of 66 missed opportunities.

Three black cats and nothing happening.

The star hotel of Kingman during the great days before Route 40 killed this one, was left in a ambiguous state. Honestly I don't have a clue on the economics behind this all. But, if Route 66 is a nostalgia-destination, there's ample room for improvement.

"Kodachrome slides, developed by your uncle"- type of experience. ( I know, I know)

Luckily (and again a strange type of coincidence), the real stars of Route 66 were the BNSF locomotives passing by on the parallel railroad: 4 of them on each train, dragging hundreds of containers: an amazing force.

Antelope Canyon

Okay, Antelope Canyon here we go: after driving in the back of a blue-and-white tuned road truck/jeep for 5 miles on a national road in Page, followed by another 5 miles in an old and empty riverbed we arrive at the Antelope Canyon ( Reservations to be done months in advance, you know upfront what this means !!!). Some explanations of a local Indian woman (very much appreciated) and we enter the Canyon.

Traffic is dense, tens of nationalities are looking around, thousands of clicks each hour: tricks of the guide on which part of the Canyon looks like Abraham Lincoln or where to look for some other weird formation... it is all to be absorbed in a funny but disciplined manner. 

 Some old English gentleman has opted for a private tour and has taken his tripod to get some pictures. Every time he tries to fire a shot, a Chinese boy or German family pops up: shouting and gestures everywhere. "Gold fever" for the best photograph by tens of people. Back home there must be a lot of disappointment with these pictures. A great visit to a weird place, photography is a challenge. Luckily no flooding happened.

Arches

Roadworks and floods in Arches blocked us from going to Delicate Arch, Instead we went to Landscape Arch and the other Arches in that region of the national park.

This park has not only the famous Arches but some astonishing rock formations as well. Two remarkable sites are Balanced Rock and Park Avenue.