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death valley

Oct 152016
 

One of the more interesting features of Death Valley is the way the landscape has flipped and folded in on itself to form this unique terrain.  It takes a lot of water as well and being the desert that it is, well, it’s pretty alluring and makes a great subject.  Getting up before the sun rises is always a great choice for catching how the dawning light will play on whatever subject chosen.  That being said, Death Valley has become one of my favorite winter destinations for exploring this grab-bag of spectacular topography.

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Mar 142016
 

No water here, but if oasis means something surrounded by sand dunes, then I think this clump of trees would qualify.  I love going to the desert in the winter.  It’s certainly much cooler and there’s at least a chance of some kind of interesting weather.  There’s so much to explore in Death Valley and one of my favorite attractions are the large sand dunes.  It’s just so hard to find large rolling soft sand dunes in the US.  Got to take advantage of the area, walk up and down, feel the leg muscles work to keep up with the spillage of sand when climbing to the top.  I’m heading to the top.

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Apr 212015
 

I love the way Ubehebe rolls off the tongue.  Maybe it’s a native word or tribe from the area.  Not really sure.  It is a somewhat remote destination inside the remote and desolate place of Death Valley.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Death Valley.  It’s immense, beautiful, harsh, varied.  The topography around here, though, is quite stark and quiet.  Wouldn’t want to be here in the heat of summer.  Winter is warm enough.

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Jul 142014
 

This was taken during the first part of my adventure to Death Valley and then on to Las Vegas.  As I mentioned in my last post it was quite a diverse meandering.  Here, I arose early from my camp spot and went up to Zabriskie Point to catch the sunrise.  Beautiful as you might expect.  Also, the areal was filled with at least 30 other gazers, mostly being photographers.  As the sun started to rise I wandered down the trail and into golden canyon.  Quiet surrounded me.  The light was shining on the alluvial hills and I could see the bottom of the canyon.  And since it was the middle of winter, the temperature was perfect.  A little slice of heaven.

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Feb 012014
 

I took some baths with borax in them.  And, usually I go away, often to a desert, this time of year.  So, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.  Thus, borax in the desert.  Voila!  This is the notorious Badwater.  Covered with borax, it’s smack dab in the middle of Death Valley.  And what a great time to go in winter, too.  It’s pleasant out, but not hot.

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Feb 062013
 

I awoke from from my camp site well before dawn, grabbed what I thought I need for an all day outing in the death valley desert, and headed up to the infamous Zabriskie point to check out the light on Manley Beacon.  Even before dawn there were many people there, most with tripod and camera, just waiting for first light.  I found an open spot and waited as well.

manly-beacon-sunrise-hdr-1

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Jun 022012
 

I made sure all the settings were right, then pointed my camera towards the north star, engaged the shutter and just sat down.  And I sat, and waited and took in the growing darkness and the rest of the night sky.  An exercise in patience and the art of self distraction.  It’s kind of like meditation, in a way.  I left the camera shutter open for an hour or more and let myself do other things.  Like gazing at the night sky and sitting.  And every once in a while, waiting and talking to myself.  “Not yet, not yet.  Take a walk around in the dark and look at the beauty of the desert sky.”  Night time in the desert is awesome!

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Apr 272012
 

Following up from the sand dune post from Oregon, here is a very different set of sand dunes from Death Valley.  Not nearly as all encompassing as in Oregon, the Mesquite dunes near Stovepipe Wells are an awesome set of dunes none-the-less.  I went there fairly close to sunset and just walked around as I love to do.  When the sun was fully set, the horizon color got deeper, contrasting with the deep desert blue of the sky.  Warm and quiet with the softly rounded dunes in the approaching darkness.  The mystery of the desert coming alive.

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Mar 252012
 

Well, they kind of look like a cornfield.  Or a haystack.  Or just an oddly unique part of what is a unique place.  The devil’s cornfield.  Another reference to the devil or death.  Personally, I find it quite alive!  Rich in its uniqueness.  The quiet, resounding.  To open and get lost in the vastness where death turns once again to the beauty of life.

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View other galleries of Death Valley at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks

Mar 062012
 

You’ve got to admire a man like Scotty.  Why anyone would choose to build a home in the middle of nowhere, where it’s hot and the sun blazes and it’s dry and did I mention hot, is beyond me.  It’s an interesting place given the locale and the grandeur of the place.  As they say, a mans home is his castle.  And in this case, it really is.  His grave marker from his death in 1954 still stands prominently on the hill overlooking his dry desert terrain.

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