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* Death Valley Trip - Part 2 - Playing In The Sand

Published by Barry in On Location · 3/12/2014 22:22:05
Tags: death_valleynationalparkCAUSUSACalifornianaturelandscape

When I previously visited Death Valley in early 2012 I had a huge to-do list which lets face it, would have needed a couple of days for me to do everything I wanted to, it kind of looked like this:-

1 - Sunrise from Dante's View
2 - Valley from Dante's View
3 - Zabriskie Point (in the early morning while sun behind me)
4 - Devil's Golf Course
5 - Artist's Pallette
6 - Badwater
7 - Borox Works

So far it doesn't look too bad, but that list above was only half of what I intended to visit during the single day I set aside for visiting, the rest of the list was left feeling left out as I drove home 2 years ago.  Mesquite sand dunes, Ubehebe crater, the Granstand, the Racetrack playa etc, all left for another day.

Thankfully yesterday provided that "other day", and having visited most of the Southern attractions in Death Valley I set my attention to those in the North that missed out last time.



First up it was an early morning visit to the Mesquite Sand Dunes, which are located right after Stovepipe Wells village as you enter from the West side of the park.



I'm certainly not the biggest fan of traipsing across large expanses of soft sand, so I wondered just how far into the dunes I would make it before giving up, but the lure of the big dunes on the Northmost edge of the Mesquite dunes does it's bit to keep calling you over until you finally come and say hello.



It was 8:35am when I stood on top of the above dune, and even at that early stage of the morning, you can clearly see that you need to be up on the ridgeline of the dunes at the crack of dawn if you want to capture photos of the dunes untouched by human feet.



From the small carpark which lies on the roadside, the dunes look like they're within a 5-10 minute walk, whereas in reality you'll still be negotiating the smaller dunes near the roadside by the time 10 minutes has come and gone.



All in all I managed to blow the best part of 2 hours as I climbed up and down dunes of various shapes and sizes, capturing photos of the dunes with and without tourists atop.



So, with it being mid morning and lunchtime fast approaching I made my way back to the car knowing that I could now tick the Mesquite sand dunes off of my "meant to visit last time but didn't" list which was the backbone for this trip.



Stay tuned for part 3...




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