Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

The Valley of Death, Part II

Posted from Lancaster, California at 8:53 pm, December 30th, 2012

I hiked a couple of miles out into the Badwater salt flats early this morning, sat down in the snow-white crystals of a dried up salt pool, and the desolation was glorious.

After a good night’s rest the morning featured some sunrise photography, a hike through the Badwater salt flats, and a delicious burger for a hungry boy. Post-burger the itinerary included a visit to the yellow formations of Zabriskie Point, and a drive up to Dante’s View. I thought I’d been to this overlook before, but I don’t remember it, and it’s a memorable spot with a five thousand foot sheer drop down to the valley floor and a ridiculously great view of the awesome geology of the surrounding landscape – since that’s three superlatives, odds are that my memory is faulty and this is a spot that has not been on a past trip itinerary.

After leaving Dante’s View the trail led towards home via the eastern Sierra, with a brief stop to enjoy the Milky Way, and the current stop to try to get a journal entry written before it gets too late (aka 9PM) and my brain starts getting mushier than normal. Tonight will be spent in a real bed as this end-of-year trip sadly comes to its end.

Badwater Basin Sunrise

Badwater Basin sunrise. The color on the mountains was also impressive, although you wouldn’t know it from the pictures I took.

Badwater Basin Salt Flats

Badwater Basin salt flats. See all the people? No? Glorious!

5 responses to “The Valley of Death, Part II”

  1. I’m not sure if you are a better photographer now or if you have better camera equipment but I give you credit for the bottom photo here. Also, if you become John Muir that would be awesome.

    1. I like all of these compliments very much. Now we need to get Aaron using a SLR, then we can all go take photos and make fun of each other when we take pictures of pelicans flying and chop off the heads, or see a flock of cranes and then accidentally set the focus on the background.

  2. Ryan, one of the things I look forward to in a New Year is your post about predictions and last year’s scorecard. Get on it, will you? :D. I had made a prediction too and I didn’t miss it by much. The guy I predicted to win the Olympic gold in table tennis Singles was not even selected to play in the singles event by China.

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