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My Adventure in Death Valley

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Offline tjavery

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My Adventure in Death Valley
« on: March 12, 2008, 04:05:51 PM »
I took a landscape photography workshop in mid-February in Death Valley National Park. It was my first visit to Death Valley as well as my first photo workshop.

We mostly visited places that were very easy to access (just because of the nature of being in a large group - 20 people total, including some people that were not in the best of shape). However, we did get to see and experience some incredible stuff.

Death Valley shares some similarities with our favorite place on Earth. And it's also completely different.

Imagine Big Bend stretched out about three times its size and the mountains doubled in height. Fill in some of the valleys with unique features like salt flats and sand dunes. Take away half or more vegetation.

Being in a group, I didn't get much time for serious hiking or desert solitude, but that sort of stuff can be found there. There are hundreds of miles of backcountry roads, none of which we got to travel.

(I'm just setting myself up for a return trip to explore the backcountry of Death Valley :-)

Badwater is the lowest spot on the continent, being 282 feet below sea level at the lowest spot. That's salt there on the ground, not snow :-)



The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells were one of our most visited places on the workshop. The highest dunes are 70 - 100 feet. The sand is very coarse, which is a good thing.



Dante's Viewpoint is one vertical mile above Badwater and offers one hell of a view (no pun intended). This is definitely worth driving the long and winding road up there.



Zabriskie Point overlooks some very impressive badlands. I love that golden color in the hard soil.



Golden Canyon is just down the way from Zabriskie. We started to hike into it. This got us deep into the badlands and we spread out to explore.



Artist's Palette is a bizzare place with almost a rainbow of differet soils and rock. I didn't really get a good photo that shows it all, but here's some of the impressive pink and green soils.



Lower Darwin Falls is just outside of the park near Panamint Springs. Hiking to this reminds me very much like going to Cattail Falls.



The really cool thing is there is an upper falls that is somewhat accessible. I was told the hike/climb we did was just shy of class 4. Only 4 of us made it up to these falls. They are almost 100 feet high and set back into a deep slot.



The areas around Salt Creek and Cow Creek are probably overlooked quite a bit by visitors. There's not much to see from the road, but when you hike out 1/2 to 1 mile, you'll encounter all sorts of little streams, salt formations, and soils with all sorts of crazy patterns.




These and more of my photos from Death Valley can be found here.

http://www.texbrick.com/photo/dv08/

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chisos_muse

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 04:14:55 PM »
Very nice, TJ. :icon_biggrin: Your photos are awesome, as always...

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Offline Al

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 04:22:58 PM »
Beautiful pictures.  Guess you didn't get to see the 20 mule team borax wagon?

Al

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 04:27:43 PM »
you know, when I first saw this post, I didn't pay attention to who was posting it and immediately my skepticism started kicking in based on the photos that were presented.  I thought, "yeah right, anyone can scan pics from National Geo and post them!"  Then, I saw who was posting them!   Bravo ol chap!

 :eusa_clap:  fantastic!

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Offline randell

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 04:48:07 PM »
Fantabulouso!!!
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline bdann

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 05:30:17 PM »
awesome!  superb!  thanks for sharing with us.
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 07:19:02 PM »
Muy bien TJAvery , aplausos... :eusa_clap:
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 08:45:12 PM »
awesome as always.... I know you had a great time out there

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline tjavery

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 08:52:57 PM »
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your comments.

I hope that if y'all ever get the itch to explore a national park outside of Big Bend (I know, I know, that sounds like cheating on your spouse  :icon_lol: ) that you consider Death Valley. It's desert, so you'll probably like it. And it has a lot of very unique features (salt flats, dry lake beds, dune fields, 2 mile elevation extremes).

Guess you didn't get to see the 20 mule team borax wagon?

I saw the wagons at the Harmony Borax Works from a distance, but we didn't get over to them. I did get to see Old Dinah at Furnace Creek:



Pretty darn impressive for 1894 technology. Old Dinah was a steam tractor and replaced the 20-mule teams for a short while until the railroad was built.

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Offline Al

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 09:03:54 PM »
I remember the TV advertisements from many years ago.  I had to look up why they used to advertise it commercially. 

http://www.dialcorp.com/index.cfm?page_id=56

The wagons were apparently very well designed and flawlessly operated especially considering the harsh conditions.

http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/borax-20muleteam.htm

Again, great photos!

Al

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Offline Roy

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 09:26:22 PM »
Those are nice, TJ, and I know you had a good time.
I'm always seeing pictures of Mono Lake from out there.  Didn't get to go there?
And don't  :eusa_naughty: get distracted by that "California stuff" while you've still got most of Big Bend to shoot

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 10:20:04 PM »
We love Death Valley almost as much as BIBE. Been there on a few different occassions. Got lots of interesting stories from there. Like BIBE, getting on the outback roads is a real blast. Tea Kettle Junction and the Racetrack were some of the most interesting. Wind at Ubehebie Crater almost knocked us down trying to walk. And just like BIBE, it isn't that crowded in the summer ;)

Robert
Enjoying the Texas life!

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 10:27:51 PM »

I hope that if y'all ever get the itch to explore a national park outside of Big Bend (I know, I know, that sounds like cheating on your spouse  :icon_lol: ) that you consider Death Valley. It's desert, so you'll probably like it. And it has a lot of very unique features (salt flats, dry lake beds, dune fields, 2 mile elevation extremes).


 I have never been, but always wanted to go....this really wets my whistle.....I'm sure BIBE won't mind a mistress :)

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2008, 11:08:23 PM »
TJ -- your shots are truly stunning!
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline tjavery

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Re: My Adventure in Death Valley
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 07:22:51 PM »
I remember the TV advertisements from many years ago.  I had to look up why they used to advertise it commercially. 
http://www.dialcorp.com/index.cfm?page_id=56
The wagons were apparently very well designed and flawlessly operated especially considering the harsh conditions.
http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/borax-20muleteam.htm

Again, great photos! Al

Thanks! The wagons at Furnace Creek were amazing. They were huge! The wheels are all steel and extremely thick.


Those are nice, TJ, and I know you had a good time.
I'm always seeing pictures of Mono Lake from out there.  Didn't get to go there?
And don't  :eusa_naughty: get distracted by that "California stuff" while you've still got most of Big Bend to shoot

Thanks! Nope, no Mono Lake on that trip, but that would be a very interesting place to visit.

Yep, I was just getting some good photo instruction and practice. Big Bend is next  :icon_lol: :icon_lol: :icon_lol:

We love Death Valley almost as much as BIBE. Been there on a few different occassions. Got lots of interesting stories from there. Like BIBE, getting on the outback roads is a real blast. Tea Kettle Junction and the Racetrack were some of the most interesting. Wind at Ubehebie Crater almost knocked us down trying to walk. And just like BIBE, it isn't that crowded in the summer ;)
Robert

I really wish we could have visited the Racetrack, but it wasn't feasible to do in the workshop with so many people. I should have scheduled a few extra days by myself and rented a 4x4 (I heard the road down there is pretty bad). Maybe next time...

We asked the employees at Stovepipe Wells about the summer. They said it's mostly Germans who come out to enjoy the 120+ heat. Sort of a macho thing... they like to brag that they've been to such a place in those conditions.

I have never been, but always wanted to go....this really wets my whistle.....I'm sure BIBE won't mind a mistress :)

Nope. Just as long as you come back.  :icon_smile:

TJ -- your shots are truly stunning!

Thank you!

 


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