Death Valley National Park is a desert wonderland of immense scale, beauty and power. It’s 3.3 million acres, and the vast majority of which are roadless wilderness. It encompass a staggering array of landscapes, unique geologic formations, and colorful vistas. The largest National Park in the contiguous United States, Death Valley is both beautiful to behold and rich in history, mood and mystique. Its towering sand dunes, seasonally snow-capped mountains, warm springs, and vast empty valleys offer endless opportunity for exploration and ample subject matter for the creative artist. There’s no place on earth quite like it.
Douglas Paul Wade
The Death Valley field trip consisted of the following photographers: Douglas Webber, Bruce and Diane Cable, Inga Nagel, Mike Scheall and myself
I arrived one day earlier to work my way out to the Racetrack and Ubehebe Crater (pronounced you-be-he-be). The group arrived safey at meeting time of 2:00pm on Friday at Stovepipes Wells Village. We talked about our agenda for the weekend. The weather was very nice; not a cloud in the sky. Some of the group were camping, others in the park hotels and others stayed at a hotel outside the park.
We headed over to Mesquite dunes around 4:00pm, it was crowded, so all of us hiked quite a distance to find some dunes that look less disturbed. We climbed up to a great vista on one of the distant dunes and started to make images. We stayed until the sunset, and then hiked back for dinner, and went to bed early.
Saturday was going to be a full day.We all arrived before dawn to photograph the sunrise at Zabriskie Point. What a spatial site. We, and about 30 other folks, mostly photographers, were all getting into position, (It was hard not to get someone in your frame). Once we shot hundreds of images, we drove to Furnace Creek Ranch for breakfast. I was told by someone about a spot they called “mile marker 105”, so Bruce, Diane and I went over there. We hike out about a mile to catch reflections in pooled water on the lake bed. There were little creeks mixed in on the dry bed. Others went out to Bad Water. The goal was to drive down to Bad Water and drive back up exploring on our own.
Badwater, Devil’s Golf Course, and Artist Point, were great, but the group was free to do what they wanted. We were free to explore on our own. We agreed we would end our day where we would shoot the sunset at Dante’s View. That was most breathtaking viewpoint in the park and the mountain-top overlooked more than 5000 feet above the inferno of Death Valley.
Sunday was a free day to shoot where-ever they desired. I left the park very early and others explored on there own. Since we were staying all over the area, some got up early and others slept in late. Folks explored Scotty’s Castle and revisited some of the spots.
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