Death Valley – Part 1

Day two started nice and early with a long day planned for touring Death Valley National Park.  I had my National Parks pass ready to go so there was no delay and off I went.  The first hour was dark, but I could still see the silhouettes of the mountains along the road, so it was a nice drive.  The route that takes you out of Las Vegas to Death Valley (one of them, at least) takes you past the other entrance to Valley of Fire State Park that I mentioned in my previous post.  (I didn’t see any burros, but I looked).

After the sun came up, I decided to stop by the side of the road and take a few photos.  It was so pretty and I was getting into a different landscape than I had been seeing for the last couple of days.  This shot below is the road I had just come from, heading back to Las Vegas.  I was about 12 inches off of the ground to get this picture, but I wasn’t too worried about getting smushed by a car.  It was fairly desolate (aka, I was the only car around) and I could hear cars coming from about 3 minutes out.

On the Way to Death Valley

(c) 2011 Nicole Norris

The next shot is the view from the road on the way to Pahrump, NV.  The sun was still pretty low in the sky so it made for a nice photo.  It was a nice day, the weather was perfect!

(c) 2011 Nicole Norris

I made it to Pahrump, the last town before you leave civilization and get close to the park, so I stopped of at the grocery store and stocked up on supplies (water, trail mix, etc.) – luckily it opened at 6am plus there was a Starbucks inside – yay!).  Things were going well so far.

I had to have a plan before I got to the park because it is so large I knew, unfortunately, I wasn’t going to be able to see it all in one day.  So I headed to Badwater first.  The sun was still low in the sky and was hidden behind the first mountain in the photo below.  In the 10 minutes it took me to take this series of photos, the sun rose over the mountain and was blazing.  But more on that later.

Badwater Basin.  It’s a small amount of water with no movement, so I was able to get a good reflection.

(c) 2011 Nicole Norris

The two photos below are infrared photos of the same area.  The first obviously is edited in black and white and the second I kept in color.  I am fond of the black and white myself in this case.  As you can see, though, I had almost lost the reflection in the black and white as the sun was pretty much fully raised over the mountain and shining almost directly on us.

(c) 2011 Nicole Norris

Badwater Basin with reflection – Infrared

(c) 2011 Nicole Norris

Directly beyond the basin is the enormous salt flats.  I will update soon!

Check out the photos on my flickr page!