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Aug 10th: Death Valley

August 11, 2007

310 miles driven, 47 photographs taken, 1 Americano Grande drunk, 0 Starbucks City Mugs acquired

Accomodation: Vagabond Inn, Bishop (Good value)

Picture: The first view point after starting the descent into Death Valley. The pale coloured rocks in the foreground had been visible as we left the entry fate to the park. At a distance they appeared to be sand but close inspection proved otherwise. This was the last really clear light before the increasing heat produced a shimmer that prevented clear shots

If there is one place I have visited which has exceeded high prior expectation then it is Death Valley. This was the longest drive so far, and we bought an icebox and multiple bottles of Glacéau (market research rather than promotion on my part here, but each bottle has a great story) to last the journey. We took the scenic route out via Red Rock Canyon which provided a spiritual recovery from the excess of Las Vegas. After that it was a long, long straight road across barren land until we entered the Death Valley National Park. Almost immediately the colours and texture of the rock was arresting. The picture here is one of the most dramatic.

The thing which really struck me is the way that the heat (it got up to 115F) creates a special form of silence. I have never heard anything like it before. Silence in the mountains has the subtle noises of the wind, birds and water. In the desert the heat has a terrible dryness to it, it sucks the moisture from your skin and sound from the air. Clarity is one of those words mostly used of conversation, but here it is a quality of the landscape itself; visual and aural.

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88 miles driven, 87 photographs taken, 2 Americano Grandes drunk, 0 Starbucks City Mugs acquired Accomodation: ...

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