Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 183 - The Sand Dunes, Death Valley

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

The largest dune
Today's lesson learned:  when you have no more room for your toes because sand has filled your hiking boots, it's time to turn around and head back.

We left before sunrise to go to The Sand Dunes.  This area of the desert is in a valley that traps the blowing sand, and thanks to last night's windy conditions, the footprints of yesterday's photographers were all erased, replaced with beautiful ripples, which were accentuated by the angular morning light.

Me with a pin head!
We each were issued a walkie talkie, and then we were allowed to go wherever we wanted.  I trekked out across the sand, staying pretty much in the lower lying sections.  I came across crusty/chalky salt deposits, scrubby bushes that had beautiful ripples leading up to them, and as I came to rises, I made my way to the top to photograph the largest golden sand dune in the far distance.

My favorite from today
The views were amazing as the light began to fill the valley.  You can see how the color of the sand changed as the sun climbed higher in the sky.

I carried my tripod for my big camera, but all the photos in this post today were taken with my small camera, which was also around my neck.  I was able to go wherever I wanted, with plenty of time, and for more than two hours, I never saw another photographer, except far in the distance.  Most of the others -- my group and plenty of other photogs not with our group -- headed for the largest dunes in the far distance.

Leading curves
Curved dune edges
The sand was soft, like baby powder.  I am sure I will be discovering it in my camera gear for weeks.  I was far more comfortable walking among the dunes than on rocks, probably from my 40 years of living on the Eastern Shore.  Plus, a fall on the dunes would be hard on the camera, because of the sand, but much easier on my bones.

It was another awesome photo shoot and walk.  And the day is not over yet.


Visit my photography show, "My Maryland," at the public library in Urbana, Maryland, on the lower level of the building.  It is there until the end of April.

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to

Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Visit my web site:
Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots

Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use my Nikon P7100 (it is a very convenient size and weight)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

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