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14 February 2010 @ 11:35 pm
The Weekend Trip  
I thought I'd waste away this weekend at home, but I did manage to pull off a trip in the last minute. I just got back from the beautiful Death Valley.

I was reading that there was water (more than the usual little pools) at Badwater in Death Valley National Park and that I had to see. I also decided that I had to get to the Martian landscape near Trona which I had been putting off for the last half a dozen or so trips to the area. I had never seen Death Valley like this before - several paths closed because of snow and washouts and floods! Even the main highways had signs of washouts and floods. Badwater had a nice large pool of shallow water which had wonderful reflections of the Panamint range and the Black mountains.

Death Valley comes dead at moonrise when the crowds have left for their camps. Walking miles around in the dark starlit Badwater basin with the world on mute is an experience that can only be comprehended when experienced firsthand. Enough words, here are the pictures.

Sunset campground at Furnace Creek. Millions of stars and the pricey Furnace Creek resort in the hills.

Martian Landscape. (Look for people/trucks on the right)

Giant Tufas. Remnants of an ancient lake.

A pinnacle with the Panamint range in the background


The pinnacles say 'W'

Snow in the high reaches of the desert

Badwater basin

Modern photography. Ah! I never thought I'd see this in action. This is a (possibly!) Cineflex Heligimbal - a gyro-stabilized camera mounted under a helicopter. The peace of a beautiful valley distrubed, but I'm sure we'll see the footage with some inspiring music. ;)

Badwater Basin

Never a dull moment when the sun's shining...

Beautiful roads

Recent floods

-282 feet. There, I've confirmed what the experts have always said. ;)

There really is water at Badwater!

Stars come out as the last tourists leave the parking lot. The mile high Black Mountains are about a mile or so away. There is absolute silence except for my weary feet dragging along on the salty floor.

Stars and satellite trails. I love the clear night sky in the desert.

t3rmin4t0r on February 15th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
The sat-trail looks like a meteor.

And the 10.5 fisheye does really freaky things on the gps shot :)
Yathinyathin on February 15th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
Interesting. I really can't tell sat-trail from a meteor. Tips?
IdahoSwedeidahoswede on February 15th, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)
So glad to see you back posting photos again. You have been missed!
Anush Shettyanushsh on February 15th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
Awesome pics dude.
kejnkejn on February 15th, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
perhaps the helicopter dudes were amazed to see you as well. "look, the yeti is finally back!"
i hope to see their footage of you with some inspiring music. ;)
Melkendokamel on February 15th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
Ah, just lovely, Yathin! I love your photo posts. (:
ex_neke on February 15th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
falkorskidfalkorskid on February 15th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Breathtaking as usual, thank you. I hope your life is still going well and that you just missed us.
Yathinyathin on February 16th, 2010 05:31 am (UTC)
Life's going well. :-)
Premnath Kudvapremkudva on February 16th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
Orion was very clearly visible in the first photo and last photo. I never thought stars and bright foreground lights went together. Good shots, seeing your photos after a long while.
(Deleted comment)
Yathinyathin on February 17th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
I think the exposure was about 30 seconds. I used high ISO along with long exposure and a small aperture. It's an interesting point you make about the trails, I'm not sure about that... maybe it has something to do with latitudes? :-)
(Deleted comment)
Yathinyathin on February 16th, 2010 05:22 am (UTC)
Re: Cineflex Aerial Camera
Oh wow! :-)

You're welcome to use the photograph.

I was actually so happy to see the camera at work. I first thought it was a Search and Rescue helicopter or a tourist one, so it was very exciting to see a Cineflex!) I can't wait to see the footage at the visitor center. :-)