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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





Pinnacles










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.





 
 
 
ex_neke on February 15th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
Wow...