– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I happened upon Owens river by accident. We were returning from Bishop, CA, after a road trip, and I suddenly noticed a vast Lake to the left side of the road in my GPS. I was a bit shocked to see such a vast lake and was wondering how I missed it so far. I told my wife to make a mark of it, and as we approached a high cliff, we looked over and couldn’t find anything resembling a lake or any other body of water. All we could see was the flat high desert typical of the area. Now I was confused and was determined to uncover the mystery.
Once I reached home, I got in front of the computer and once again looked it over. On the map, there seems to be a vast lake way bigger than Mono Lake with its namesake river as well, Owens Lake and River. I was even more confused as we were in winter, which is rainy season in California, and it didn’t make sense that the lake was dry at this time of the year. Then I switched over to satellite view, and the Lake disappeared right in front of my eyes. It was ll desert no lake. Intrigued, I decided to read on and learned about how the LA county re-routed the water that was going to Mono and Owens lake to quench the ever-increasing water need of the burgeoning Los Angeles Metropolitan area. It was quite shocking to see the old pics of the lake and learn about the shady water practices that led to the demise of the Lake. Nature did have the last laugh, though. The dust picked up from the dry lake bed is quite a significant contributing factor in the ever-present smog that you experience in Los Angeles. So there you have the history of Owen’s Lake. On our next visit, we made it a point to check out Owen’s River and use it as foreground interest in the morning Sierra shots. The river didn’t disappoint. The setting moon was an unexpected bonus.
Tagged: , Owen Lake , Owens River , Lone Pine , Bishop , Eastern Sierra , Sierra Nevada , Moonset , Sunrise , California , Inyo County , High Desert