That mysterious lake in the Clint Eastwood movie High Plains Drifter

High Plains Drifter is a classic Eastwood movie from the early seventies.  I think I have seen the movie 7 or 8 times.  And every time I watch it I am mesmerized by that beautiful lake.

High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American Western film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and produced by Robert Daley for The Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures. Eastwood plays a mysterious gunfighter hired by the residents of a corrupt frontier mining town to defend them against a group of criminals.

mono5

The film was shot on location on the shores of Mono Lake, California.

Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in a basin that has no outlet to the ocean. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp.

mono

Mono Lake

Max. length15 km (9.3 mi)
Max. width21 km (13 mi)
Surface area45,133 acres (182.65 km2)
Average depth17 m (56 ft)
Max. depth48 m (157 ft)
Water volume2,970,000 acre·ft (3.66 km3)
Surface elevation6,383 ft (1,946 m) above sea level
IslandsTwo major: Negit Island and Paoha Island; numerous minor outcroppings (including tufa rock formations). The lake’s water level is notably variable.

Clint riding into the town of Lago, on the shore of Mono Lake.

mono2
mono3
mono4

In the movie they paint the town red to try and disorient the killers who are on their way.

mono1

The movie set (town of Lago) in the first picture, and the same location with the town gone in the second.

mono6
mono7
Map_mono_lake

The most unusual feature of Mono Lake are its dramatic tufa towers emerging from the surface. These rock towers form when underwater springs rich in calcium mix with the waters of the lake, which are rich in carbonates. The resulting reaction forms limestone. Over time the buildup of limestone formed towers, and when the water level of the lake dropped the towers became exposed.

mono-lake-4[2]
mono-lake-16[6]
mono-lake-11[2]
mono-lake-17[5]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.