Death Valley - Part IV on Flickr.
This is the third installment of photographs from my recent backpacking trip to Death Valley National Park. My friend and fellow photographer Ian Norman drove us out to Panamint Valley on March 23rd, where we hiked 7 miles to our camp, about one mile from the base of Panamint Dunes.
As the day wore on, what had started as a light southern breeze gradually matured into a strong, gusty wind, which demonstrated for us it’s power to push the dunes, grain by grain, ever closer to the mountains. The sand moved with ferocity and grace as it spilled into the sky, becoming a passenger on the winds. It was surely a sight to behold; the sands whipping around, erasing our footprints, restoring the elegant lines and sharpening the razor-thin peaks. As beautiful as it was to witness, this sand storm quickly became an unpleasant occurrence. Sand was raining down upon us in a never-ending torrent, and attacking our exposed skin as we fought back to camp. I stuffed my camera underneath my shirt, hopelessly hoping to avoid a difficult clean-up. When we finally reached camp, glad to see our tent had survived the winds, we were met with another difficultly. The wind had been so strong that it blew the sand out from under the supports, and into the tent itself. Everything was covered. Pillows, sleeping bags, mats, etc. We took refuge in our tent until sundown, though the sand found it’s way in, and the sound prevented us from resting.