Black and white photo of Rush Creek meeting Mono Lake with Paoha Island in the background.

17th Annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour: Rediscovering Lower Rush Creek

The 17th Annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour, sponsored by and raising funds for the Mono Basin Historical Society, includes a dinner and program on Friday, August 27, and a history tour on Saturday, August 28. This year’s event focuses on Rush Creek, Mono Lake’s largest tributary stream.

Friday night dinner, 6:00pm

Dinner will be held outdoors at the Mono Inn restaurant at 6:00pm on Friday, and will include Barry McPherson speaking about his grandfather in a program titled “W.D. McPherson: Broken Dreams, from Rush Creek to Pahoa Island.” Dinner tickets are $35 per person; purchase tickets at the Mono Basin Historical Society website.

Saturday history tour, 10:00am–4:00pm

The Saturday tour begins at 10:00am at the Mono Basin History Museum (129 Mattly Avenue in Lee Vining) then will move to Rush Creek, near the south shore of Mono Lake (the tour will take place entirely outdoors). Ticket holders will receive a sack lunch. Tickets for the Saturday tour are $30 per person; purchase tickets at the Mono Basin Historical Society website.

Tour speakers on Saturday:

  • Raymond Andrews will speak about the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe’s life at Rush Creek
  • Bob Marks will present “Mr. Clover Goes to Washington,” regarding the J.B. Clover Ranch and the Clover Ditch project
  • Bob Vestal will relay remembrances of his father Elden, who was a Regional Fisheries Biologist monitoring Rush Creek in the late 1930s through the 1940s
  • Geoff McQuilkin, Mono Lake Committee Executive Director, will relate the efforts to heal Rush Creek from the damages of water diversions

Fundraiser and raffle

The annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour reveals local history while raising funds for the non-profit Mono Basin Historical Society, which operates the Mono Basin History Museum in Lee Vining. Donated items will be raffled at the dinner and a beautiful, large photograph is the grand raffle prize to be awarded at the end of the Saturday tour day. Tickets can be purchased at the Mono Basin Historical Society website, at the museum, or by calling (760) 647-6461.

Top image from the Mono Lake Committee’s archive: Rush Creek as it entered Mono Lake, early 1940s.