Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Death valley sandstorm


Death valley sandstorm
Originally uploaded by Douglas Remington - Ethereal Light™

So after Joshua tree I left for Death Valley with the hopes of capturing a sunset on the great sand dunes. It was still windy all through eastern California. I made it to the dunes, and then looked for a camp site. My plan was to hike about a mile into the dunes and wait for the light. Well as I got close to a mile out the winds picked up very strongly. Pretty soon It was unsafe. I snapped this photo right when it started happening, and packed up. The winds became so strong that I could barely stand up. I had to put clothing over my face to breath and the sky soon grew dark. GPS could not get a signal do to the strong cloud of sand. It was difficult to not panic do to the circumstances and how far I had to hike to get back to my car - with little idea if I was going in the right direction. Somehow I did manage to get back. Obviously, I had to get the hell out of there. So I drove my car out and climbed up the mountains. And when I got to an overview, what I could see was all of Death valley as a huge sandstorm. I drove on westward and stayed the night in Lone Pine (by the famous Alabama Hills in the eastern Sierras.). In the morning my cousin, Paul, who camped with me at Joshua Tree called informed me that the front page of the LA times said that Palm Springs was shut down due to that major sandstorm. People die out in death valley every year, and I'm glad I wasn't one of them!

~dr

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