Winter Views-- The Cosmic Dunes and the Bad, Bad Basin-- DVNP

August 25, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Joshua Tree and High Desert Snow, Death Valley National Park, California

Descending Death Valley Road I am soon surrounded by Joshua Trees and snow in this is high desert. After an hour of winding roads I turn right onto a bumpy, gravel road and drive straight until I see the Eureka Dunes. I arrive late in the afternoon and pop the roof top tent. I'm not going anywhere tonight. Sunset session will be right here. I grab a beer and set up the tripod and chair. Now I just have to wait for the show.

Mocha Mountain, Death Valley National Park, California

High Desert Sky, Death Valley National Park, California

Pink Sky Above, Death Valley National Park, California
 

***

The Eureka Dunes are the highest sand dunes in California and the second highest in the US. They lie in a seldom visited corner of Death Valley National Park. I dry camped here for a couple of nights and photographed these majestic dunes in fierce wind and calm dawns.

Windblown, DVNP, California

Windblown (black and white), DVNP, California

A Fierce Wind Blows, DVNP, California

***

The windblown sand stings, but it covers up foot prints and leaves perfect curves in the dunes. A day following a wind storm is perfect conditions for photography as the landscape appears untouched and new. In this state I can see the Light and the Dark. The Known and the Unknown. And it is likely that neither are what we think them to be.

S Curves of the Summit, DVNP, California
 

Brainwaves of the Cosmic Dune, DVNP, California

Eureka Dunes, DVNP, California

***

Dawn in the desert is cold, especially in January. The mountains that surround me offer no warmth as they block the sun deep into the morning. The sand is cool to the touch. 

Calm Dawn, DVNP, California

The sky alights pink and then a kind of winter grey settles in. I hike the 45 minutes back to my truck, make coffee, and sip it as I pour over a map of Death Valley National Park. I decide to go to Badwater Basin next and I'm soon back on the bumpy "road".

***

Sunset at Badwater, DVNP, California 

Badwater Basin is a salt flat in Death Valley. It lies 282 feet below sea level. It is one of the earth's lowest points and harshest environments. Perhaps it is in these extremes that one can find clarity...

Salty Shards, DVNP, California

Clarity in the Chaos, DVNP, California

The Convergence, DVNP, California

 

Aloha, 

Lee


 


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