Adventures in canoeing: Wrapping up the 2012 seasonSeptember 13th, 2012 by Angie, Project Specialist
Despite a windier summer than the last, canoe tours this season gave a whopping 987 people a chance to experience Mono Lake from the water. Hidden underwater tufa formations, brine shrimp clouds so thick they turned the water murky, Osprey returning to their nests with seven-inch trout in tow … these are just a few of the wonders experienced by visitors this summer.
Some paddlers looked upon the wonders of the lake with fresh eyes, experiencing all Mono Lake has to offer for the first time. Some had fallen in love with the lake years ago, and were eager to examine the familiar waters from a fresh perspective. Some more eccentric paddlers brought with them trinkets from home to introduce to the lake—a tumbleweed to photograph in the canoe, home-canned jam to share with the staff, a Pink Floyd song to listen to on the aquatic journey.
Regardless of what was brought to the lake, each person left their canoe with something gained. It is my personal belief, borrowed from Mono Lake Committee founder David Gaines, that it is nearly impossible to experience Mono Lake from the tranquility of a canoe and not be moved.
Canoe tours on Mono Lake are as old as the Mono Lake Committee itself. During the Committee’s infancy, the founding members offered free half-day field trips to Mono Lake in the hopes that the necessity to save the lake would be apparent to those who experienced it first-hand. Included in the field trips was a simple canoe excursion—just David Gaines, an old aluminum canoe, and the beauty of lake.
While things have certainly changed in the past three decades, (some for the better thanks to canoe tours earlier in the day), David Gaines’ vision lives on. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to carry on the tradition of connecting visitors to the lake during canoe tours, and am confident that as long as the lake has a story to tell, people will travel from around the world to listen.
Join us for canoe tours next summer; tours will resume the last weekend in June.