Sunday, November 22, 2009

Return to Death Valley

Walking The Ridgeline, originally uploaded by Jeff Sullivan.

The last time I took my kids to Death Valley, we had a list of places we wanted to visit, so although we had a blast on the Eureka Dunes, we had to leave before we reached the top so we could make it to The Racetrack in time for sunset.

This time we had no such agenda, so we took our sweet time wherever we went, and thoroughly enjoyed each stop. I've been to the Eureka Dunes several times, and I've captured some nice landscape images, but I really like capturing people on the dunes. We're really small in comparison, and even our footprints are nothing more than temporary intrusions. The dunes themselves often take on sinuous shapes, and the lighting of the sun can enhance our perception of the subtle curves.

The forgiving nature of the soft sand also invites playful interaction via rolling, jumping, rolling and sliding across it. The Eureka Dunes are closed to skiing and sand boarding due to several endangered species that exist only on this one dune field, but I'll definitely consider taking old ski gear with me to the other dunes in Death Valley. Life too short to avoid playing with gravity!