Winter is a Great Time to Visit Death Valley National Park

 

death valley national park, California. Image of the desert valley floor

Death Valley National Park, California.

A trip is a perfect way to start the new year so we packed up and set off to visit Death Valley National Park.

It’s 2017 and I still do not have enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I would like to. I’ve hear myself say “I don’t have time for anything” over the course of last year and I finally took the time to do something about it. Ha-ha-ha. I guess taking the time was the key.  With a busy  schedule it is not always easy to set aside the time to do all the things I enjoy.  When forced, it becomes counterproductive and overwhelming. At times, this even goes beyond physical limitations (not getting enough sleep?) to the point where ‘the moment’ itself no longer exists. When the a day becomes a list of check marks, rushed and unfulfilling, it is time for a change.
This year I’m making room for lovely moments again. It is amazing how the opportunities reveal themselves once you’re ready.  This year our crazy winter storm in California provided an incredible opportunity to experience Death Valley National Park in a unique way and we decided to take advantage.

Winter is high season in Death Valley due to cooler temperatures, but keep in mind that those degrees can still climb well into the 90s.

This year, however, things are quite different and, I’ll be planning another trip soon before this storm is over.
This is the first image I processed from our trip to Death Valley National Park in February. This stretch of beautiful landscape is just off the Furnace Creek Campground. It is probably the first image I chose because the experience of waking up and crawling out of the tent in the morning to this view felt completely surreal. We simply got dressed, grabbed a cup of coffee and, without even talking, we just strolled into the desert behind our tent for a few hours. It was a great morning.

Location: Death Valley National Park, California

Exposure: 1/125 sec at f/ 8.0

ISO: 100

Camera: Canon EOS 5 D Mark II

Lens: EF 17-40  f/4L USM

Lone Pine Sunrise

Lone Pine Sunrise or How to Visit Death Valley in Just One Day.

Lone Pine, California, nestled along the Highway 395 is a little town with a population of just over 2,000 but it can offer an amazing Lone Pine Sunrise to anyone wanting to reach or visit Death Valley in just one day.

Admittedly, it’s one of many that people look past on their way to the big, exciting Mammoth Lakes as they drive up, reducing their speed because they have to,  and looking straight ahead, thinking the entire time “I can NEVER live here”.  A few actually pause and think.  They think why people live in this desolate place.  They also think about the fact that if they had to, would they be able to? Also, if they did not have to, why would they choose to? Mostly, we chose not to think about those reasons.  But I wonder, why do we naturally presume that those reasons are bad?

This post is about one of the magical things Lone Pine has offer to the unsuspecting passerby: an opportunity to visit the amazing Death Valley in just one day.  Admittedly, a day is NOT enough, but for the lack of alternatives this life has to offer, if one day is all you get, the sleepy town of Lone Pine is the way to get it.

 

Image of a sunrise in Lone Pine

 

Our first time to see the Death Valley was all the way back in 2012, I actually had to look up the date, and, astonishingly, underestimated the time elapsed by 2 years!  Lately, this does happen a lot.  Fortunately, I happen to appreciate time and try and make the most of it.

Visiting Death Valley in just one day is pretty simple: since all of the places inside the valley itself are booked at least six month ahead of time, try booking a night in Lone Pine instead.  Wake up early, catch an amazing Lone Pine Sunrise,  (the thing most people miss looking straight ahead) just  look across the road and then reach your destination in less than two hours.

The Lone Pine sunrise was a powerful experience and, finally, I had a chance to correct my wrongs and… redo a photoshoot I really messed up almost four years ago.

Hooray and hello beautiful Lone Pine Sunrise!

Image of Death Valley National Park Sand Dunes

Death Valley National Park Sand Dunes


Sunset in Death Valley National Park Sand Dunes

As much as I love this shot I can’t help but remind myself of a very significant photo-life lesson I learned that day:  see a sunset – bring a tripod.

Some mistakes you only make once (I hope this is one of them).

 

 

 

 

Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park

Badwater

Standing next to the Badwater Basin at 282 ft below sea level, looking out at salt flats spreading as far as the eye can see, I realized that Death Valley is a truly fitting name for this magnificent place. I remember feeling utterly vulnerable and instinctively reaching for my water bottle just a few feet from my car; an incomparable, powerful experience which I am not likely to forget any time soon.

Image of Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park.

Delicious Landscape

Toffee Mountain

Looking at this mountain, all I can think about is caramel ice cream; this is the most delicious landscape I have ever seen.

Skylight

Nature’s Skylight

And another one from Death Valley. Revisiting this folder has been a lot of fun, it reminded me that there was an incredible surprise at every turn throughout our journey.

Nature's skylight

Triangles

 Another one from Death Valley.

We took this trip a year ago but I keep wanting to go back.  I keep revisiting this folder and get overwhelmed by how little I captured; no regrets, but a definite urge to put things right.  I have  a feeling though that if I go back once a week for the rest of my life, this feeling will persist still.

Death Valley Landscape

Down the Road

Hope many roads to come in the new year, this one was in Death Valley National Park, hope to visit it again soon.

Devil’s Golf Course

Get Off My Golf Course!

Death Valley is absolutely breathtaking; a visit to Devil’s Golf Course makes you feel like you’re definitely on another planet or have suddenly crossed into a parallel universe.  Discovering this guy staring back at us with unmistakable  message – unforgettable.

 

 

Photographer’s Paradise

Just Texture or Just Color

The trip to the Death Valley keeps me longing for more.

Short trips would be all I can handle; isolated and controlled doses of a place which I find outright overwhelming and wickedly addictive.   I guess I find paradise (for photographers it truly is nothing short of that) not so easy to handle: the beauty is so concentrated and intense that I find myself intimidated in sense that I might not do it justice.

Image of mud cracks and sand dunes

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