Taken early last year at the lowest point in North America on my last night in Death Valley. During the day I spent about five hours searching for an area where the salt flats made smooth, visually appealing patterns and marked each location with my GPS so that I’d be able to find them (and more importantly find my car) when the sun was setting. Badwater Basin covers approximately 200 square miles so finding smooth, undisturbed salt flats isn’t an easy task.
Even with the GPS coordinates it was still a struggle to find my car – I knew where it was of course – but there are not any ‘trails’ in the dessert to follow back and the dessert isn’t all smooth salt flats like you see in this picture. Littered throughout the area are large salt crystal formations that stretch for quite a distance that will saw your legs up if you try to pass through them. Thus, you have to find a way out without walking through any of the spiky salt formations, think of it as a giant natural maze. I walked about nine miles (largely in circles) seeking a place to setup for sunset and so just following my GPS created ‘trail’ was not an option. All-in-all my car was only about a mile away from where I took this picture but it took me a little over an hour to get there because of all the backtracking I had to do.
Sunset over Badwater Basin (Death Valley National Park)
In this photo I tried to really minimize the size of the mountains (they are actually pretty large) and did that by using a really wide angle lens to make them seem very tiny in the distance. I also wanted to convey a sense of just how wide and vast the landscape was.
Long day tomorrow with a 7 AM flight and 7:45 PM return flight so I probably won’t be posting anything on Thursday.