Death Valley - Part V on Flickr.
Badwater, Death Valley
This is the fifth and final 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.
The following morning, we woke up about an hour before sunrise in order to pack up our gear and begin the arduous journey back to the car, and then back to Los Angeles. We said our last goodbyes to what had been our temporary home, and set out to cross the valley once again. The walk was much easier this time around; having consumed a large portion of our food and drank the majority of our water, our packs were significantly lighter. Within a few hours we were back in the car, and not more than 20 minutes after that, we found ourselves suddenly bombarded with the trappings of civilization. Tourists, air conditioning, restaurants, gift shops, and RVs. It was quite a shock to have felt so alone and isolated from everything for three days, when in reality the civilized (rather, uncivilized) world was just an arm’s reach away. We stopped for burgers at a restaurant, and then went on to check out Badwater; an immense salt flat, which marks North America’s lowest point at 282ft below sea level. We also stopped at a small indian coffee joint, pulled over to shoot a dust storm, and witnessed an impressive rain storm and subsequent sunset as we approached LA.
All in all, it was an incredible trip, and I hope to go back soon!
Click here to see Ian Norman’s short documentary of our adventure.