Walking along the beach after the touron season has ended is always so much more satisfying… no crowds, no noise, no distractions, no intrusions, no… anything. Just empty.
The wind is uninterrupted and blows sheets of fine sand across the surface of the beach. There is a certain bite to the air, both from the temperature and the light sandblasting. Ghost crabs scurry ahead of our passage and the occasional bird wheels above us to see if we offer a treat, while the dune grasses sway and bow as the weather fronts storm through.
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.
If I have some free time on my hands during a trip into DC, I like strolling the streets and looking for photo opportunities like this one. Sometimes it takes many minutes for foot and vehicular traffic to clear the frame, but I’m patient.
We have a new favorite haunt when we travel to Assateague Island National Seashore and Ocean City, Maryland… the local seafood dives in West Ocean City. West Ocean City is the center for commercial and charter fishing in the area, and doesn’t have the intense number of tourons that choke the life out of the nearby tourist traps — plus the seafood is as fresh as can be had anywhere in the region.