Spring Break Death Valley Trip – Day 3
May 21, 2012
Wow, day 3 already!
OK, we started off early this morning over at Zabriskie Point keeping our fingers crossed for some sweet clouds and light…
I’m going to stop the whole ”crossing my fingers” thing because it just isn’t working. Lots of clouds to the East, nothing over the viewpoint, so another no go. Although, I did learn something important – seems that the best light is more mid-winter (like Dec- Jan) in this area. April finds the sun too far behind the mountains and by the time it breaks the over the tops of ‘em the light is already too harsh.
After that, it was back to the hotel for some breakfast and planning. The wind was REALLY picking up so the sand dunes – normally full of tracks – might come into play today.
We hung around the hotel for a bit, had some lunch, and made the decision to head north. The sky looked more promising in that direction, and maybe we’d try heading up to Eureka Dunes to see if we couldn’t squeeze out a photo.
It’s a LONG drive, and I couldn’t help but notice the wind was getting more aggressive the further we went. Luckily, we decided to stop at Ubehebe Crater before heading up to Eureka Dunes. At this point the wind was so overwhelming I had to actually pull Grant’s door open for him – he couldn’t push it open against the wind!
As the wind tried to force us back, we made for the crater but were getting stung by flying pebbles! It flet like someone was shooting a BB gun at us as we walked! We decided the best course of action would be to skip the crater for now…
After getting a taste of the wind, it seemed prudent to skip Eureka Dunes. It’s an 80 mile + round trip from where we were on a small, gravel road and if was blowing up there like it was here, there was just no way to even setup a tripod, much less pull off a photo. We punted on the idea and decided to try Mesquite Dunes instead. They’re not as large and are much more likely to have footprints, but they do have the advantage of being right next to our hotel. If the wind was too bad, we’d just skip it.
We had a little time to kill so we stopped off at Scotty’s Castle to poke around – could be a cool place for star trails one day – then it was time to head back, grab some dinner, and see what the weather was going to do.
As evening wore on, the wind died down a little and we decided to head out on the dunes and see what we could get. Little did we know that the respit from the gale force winds was only very temporary – it started picking up again shortly after we got the tripod setup. In fact, we did a little video, but we had to use one of my DSLRs – the regular camcorder would have been destroyed with all the blowing sand! (See video)
Fortunately, it was all worth while as I was able to grab this shot as the sun was going down:
The trip back was pretty rough – once that sun went below the horizon the wind picked up and we were literally hiking back to the car in a sandstorm. It was only a mile or so, but man, it sure seemed longer! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a rental car!
- As always, we love your comments And don’t forget to rate the photos!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
← Spring Break Death Valley Trip – Day 2 Spring Break Death Valley Trip – Day 4 →