Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Trail Chic: Lee Vining’s fashion icons emerge to support outdoor education

This post was written by Ellie Neifeld, 2019 Mono Lake Intern.

Mono Lake Committee staff and other Lee Vining residents hit the astroturf runway on July 20 for the Eastern Sierra’s most anticipated event of the year—the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser.

This year’s group of runway walkers at the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser. Photo by Elin Ljung.

A fundraiser for the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center (OEC) Access Fund, the Trail Chic Fashion Show raised enough money this year to bring nine future OEC groups to the Mono Basin for five days of life-changing outdoor activities while learning about the source of their water.

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly makes Trail Chic possible by generously donating wine to auction at the fundraiser. A huge thank you to Barefoot, the Mono Market, Patagonia, Epic Cafe, The Mono Inn, Latte Da Coffee Cafe, Beaver’s Sporting Goods, Bodie Mike’s, Eric Verrinder, and all the volunteers who supported this event!

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this year’s garb.

Lily, Bookstore Manager, struts the runway in a costume made of the invasive plant sweet clover while Robbie, Restoration Field Technician, emcees the event. Photo by Alec Barton.
Interns Caroline and Ellie pretend to be lost visitors in need of the answer to the most-asked question in the bookstore: “How do you get to South Tufa?” The answer: Take Highway 395 south for five miles, turn left on Highway 120 East for 5 miles, and then turn left at South Tufa! Photo by Alec Barton.
Local bug Sadie gets creative with her costume, cutting cardboard La Croix boxes into wings. Her doll, or larva, also has wings and buggy eyes! Photo by Alec Barton.
Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide, demonstrates the tricky ways of ravens, even stealing and applying lipstick on the runway. Photo by Alec Barton.
Joslyn (Project Specialist), Krista (Birding Intern), and AnnaLisa (Intern) hold their copy of Sibley Nerds West as they watch humans. Photo by Elin Ljung.

See you in two years (summer 2021) for the next Trail Chic!