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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:16 AM   #1
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Default Morning in low places

Our week vacation continued. After leaving San Diego and the water, water, everywhere Pacific Ocean, we headed northeast, and downhill. I had told myself that I would only post one or at the most 2 pictures of the various spots we visited, but yesterday morning's sunrise/moonset deserved its own thread.

The setting moon. While there's water at this location all year round, there was more than usual this year. This was one of the first pictures I took, before I walked out to the edge of the lake you can barely see beyond the salt flats in the foreground.

I wasn't the only one enjoying the sunrise from this famous location. It's well known because of the water, which is very saline and known as Badwater. This photo gives you a feeling of just how big and grand the scenery is around here:

This is an area of extremes. Someone was running a photo workshop, and a bunch of photographers were snapping away. We had arrived too late to set up with a tripod and think about things, so I just had my camera and a couple of lenses in a bag. I strongly suspect that these folks came away with better pictures because of their preparation, but I probably had more fun using them as subjects.

In the last picture, the white on the mountains is snow (I think one of the mountains is just over 10,000 feet elevation, or else close to it). The white below (which in the shadow doesn't look white) that's sticking up out of the shallow water is mostly salt, with a little borax and other stuff mixed in.

As the light changed to full sunlight, the photographer workshop folks packed up to go to the next spot. I lingered, enjoying the changing light and beautiful scenery. I thought that the later, very different light just as beautiful, though not as dramatic.

Finally, as I was walking back and there was more light down on the valley floor (though the sun was still behind a mountain) I took a picture of my GPS to show the elevation. I think the barometer on my Garmin needed to be re-set:

The sign at the parking area says that Badwater is only 282 feet below sea level, the lowest spot in North America.

I'll post the other Death Valley pictures in a separate thread, we had a great time exploring, but two days is not enough for this area - I want to go back, there's so much more to see.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:20 AM   #2
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Beautiful shots! The mountains remind of Victorville.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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One of the toughest ultras goes thru there:
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 12:03 PM   #4
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Great series, Harriet-

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 4:15 PM   #5
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WOW That's quite a place must be hard to decide what to shoot first

...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DA PLM 55-300, DA 18-135, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 5:58 PM   #6
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What a beautiful place. Must be hell in the summer! Nice shots especially the first and third.

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Old Jan 22, 2011, 6:50 PM   #7
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Gorgeous colours!
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 10:08 PM   #8
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Awesome photos! The last is my favorite (not counting the GPS). I always thought death Valley was the lowest place in North America. I wonder how many other misconceptions I have about western North America. Clearly, I need to spend more time out west!
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:12 PM   #9
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Badwater Basin, where these pictures were taken, is part of Death Valley National Park, so you are not mistaken. Telescope Peak, which may be in this picture but I'm not sure, is over 11,000 feet elevation and is also within the park boundaries, along with many other interesting spots.

Anyone who wants to run from Badwater to Mt. Whitney in the middle of summer is crazy. While I know there are people who hike in Death Valley in summer, I think they are all crazy, too. On the other hand, it's a wonderful place to visit in the middle of winter, while the rest of the country is freezing and covered with feet of snow. It was in the 70's F when we were there.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 12:00 AM   #10
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Great series, Harriet!
great place to be this time of year.

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