Finally we are off for our summer travels. We decided to head up California’s Eastern Highway US 395 which passes through Reno and goes all the way up into eastern Washington.
A couple weeks ago while working on Larry’s Family Tree, I found one of his 1st cousins on Ancestry.com. We began emailing and getting acquainted and sharing old photos. We made plans to come up to meet them over Memorial Weekend.
Along Hwy 395 we were flooded with fond old memories, having spent many fun filled weekends in Randsburg (old gold mining town) with friends, and more memories when we passed a sign for Taboose Creek Campground where we camped one weekend long ago with friends.
Anyone who thinks the desert is boring has not seen these mountains and hills. They are alive with so many colors. There were a surprising number of pure white rock formations, hills and alkaline dry lakes. Then there was the black basalt of lava flows and eruptions. And more rock formations that were red.
Knowing that there are hot springs along this corridor and then after stopping to read a roadside sign got me curious and I whipped out my smart phone and Googled the area. We were only going as far as Bishop today but the area north of that, Mammoth Mountains and Owens River Valley are the result of an ancient eruption 760,000 years ago.
When we arrived in our campground we had a wonderful view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with a creek running through the center of the campground. Our view to the East was the geology created by the lava flow and layers of ash that is called the Bishop Tuff. It is outcrops of pinkish-colored rock, a result of superheated cloud of ash and debris that was expelled with the eruption and solidified upon cooling. It is a layer 500 feet thick and 50 miles in radius extending from Bishop to Mono Lake.