Tag Archives: California
Taken during a trip with my family to attend my sister’s graduation from a nearby college.
Here’s an odd sight to see way up in the arid mountains of Death Valley, miles away from the closest source of water — ten beautifully preserved charcoal kilns. And truly — there’s nothing else there. No town. No other historical buildings. Just a narrow dirt road that winds up and up into the high mountain scrub, then these pop into view.
We spent about an hour there, and in that short time all of us got cooked — even me, with a long sleeve shirt and wide-brimmed hat! What must it have been like for the people that actually worked here… cutting and transporting wood to the kilns, firing them up to produce charcoal, then extracting all that black sooty material out and packing it for transport? All without a break from the heat and no local water source! That must have been a truly miserable job.
For anyone driving through the American Southwest, this is a familiar sight — the desert yucca plant. I always find it amazing that something so big can exist in an area that’s so dry.
Just picture perfect…
These are tufa columns, a type of limestone, from ancient hot springs forming within a saline lake — not to be confused with volcanic tuff (which can also be called tufa). These structures can be found all around and in Mono Lake… even hundreds of feet above the current lake levels.
The whole Mono Lake area is very cool to visit and spend most of a week exploring.
So beautiful that I want to return to the region for an extended visit of several weeks.