News from the Field: Day 8--Mono Basin Volcanoes

We started the day with a drive north to Lee Vining, to start our first encounter with Mono Lake. After driving to the north shore of the lake, we hiked up to Black Point, a young volcanic center at the edge of lake. Black Point provided an excellent vantage point for an overview of Mono Lake, and an interesting example of an underwater volcano. We had lunch at the pastoral setting of Mono County Park, overlooking Mono Lake. We then drove south to Panum Crater, the youngest (and cutest!) of the Mono Basin volcanoes at only 500 years ago and had an exciting hike through the volcano's obsidian dome and a long drive home. On the way back to SNARL, we took a drive through the June Lake Scenic Loop seeing several subalpine lakes at the base of the Sierra Nevadas. A hot salmon dinner awaited us, followed by spirited card games and preparation for Recreation Day tomorrow.

    May 17th
Nicole and Preeti stretch out before the morning hike.
The group begins the day with the long hike up to Black Point.
The group approaches the summit, finally!
Avid naturalists Jack and Nicole check out the view of Mono Lake.
Michael discusses the geology of the Mono Lake area (with a beautiful view of the Sierras in the background). 
Lauren takes advantage of the high altitude to make an important phone call (Mom, can you send me a care package?). 
Chris checks out the enigmatic Black Point Fissures-- possibly the result of fracturing of an underwater volcanic system.  Wow!
Nicole claims to be searching for aliens in the Fissures!
Adam and Alicia take a break after the climb into the Fissures.
Daniel pauses for a catnap.
A little friend joins us for our tour of the Fissures. 
Robin, Lauren, Ganesh, and Daniel strike a pose for the camera.
The group takes a few moments to record some observations in their field notebooks.
Daniel trys to get a better look from the top of the Fissures.
Some intense deformation of ancient lake sediments.
The group collapses after an overdose of volcanology at Mono County Park.
Ahhh!  Dan takes time to air out his boots during lunch (much to the group's dismay!).  
Chris, Lauren and Robin check out the tufa on the edge of Mono Lake. 
We finally reach Panum Crater, voted America's most adorable volcano!
John explains how Panum Crater was formed (or is he playing tic-tac-toe with Ganesh?).
Lots of neat 'bread-crust' structures on the obsidian boulders
Preeti, Lauren, Esther, and Megan atop Panum crater, with a great view of Mono Lake in the background
The group at the top of Panum crater, with the Sierra in the background
Robin's having a bad_hair day!
Adam practices for the World's Strongest Man Competition with a pumice boulder.
The gang poses at the Oh! Ridge overlook
Michael discusses glacial processes with Adam, overlooking beautiful June Lake at the base of the Sierras.
Back at the gang relaxes with a game of Egyptian ratscrew after a long day in the field.
Look at Daniel juggling pumice boulders [2.3 MB]  Click here