What to do..?

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Mesquite DunesAlright… I have been thinking and re-thinking my trip itinerary. Should I go to Death Valley after all, or should I try to find something closer to LA to shoot for the couple of days I am going to be out West at the College Board conference? Reasons why I am second guessing the Death Valley part of the trip include:

  • can’t seem to get any kind of affordable overnight accommodation in Death Valley. Would be happy to sleep in the car, and have been researching how to do this without getting a ticket – the Racetrack was one of the places I wanted to stay overnight in – but at some point I am going to want to sleep in a bed and have a shower – call me soft, but the idea of three or four nights roughing it puts me pretty much at my limit.
  • renting a car from LA is surprisingly expensive. For me to get something that I can take to the Racetrack would be VERY expensive. Am thinking of opting for the cheaper economy car that would preclude me from taking the washboard road out to the Racetrack. Something with decent clearance is going to cost me about $350 just for three days!
  • the playa at the south end of the Racetrack is being reported as wet at this time – this means that no-one should not walk on the surface. If I did walk on the playa surface when wet, my footprints would last for years, and I am not interested in creating that kind of impact. The Racetrack overnight was one of the main reasons I was heading toward Death Valley – that and the promise of warmer weather.

What to do? What to do? Should I stick to the plan? Or should I try to devise a new plan that involves exploring a different area? Having said that, even if I cannot get to the Racetrack there are many aspects of Death Valley that still make it a REALLY cool destination for photography. The Mesquite Dunes area, the Badwater Salt Flats, Zabriskie’s Point, and the many canyons to explore… these are but a few of the opportunities available in this wonderful place.

The image in this post has become one of my favorites… after wandering around the vast area covered by the Mesquite Dunes my head was spinning with trying to come up with a composition that I liked. When I saw this scene it sort of simplified things for me, and I was able to relax and go on to making several more images from this area that I liked.

Am going to have to do some thinking about where my final destination will be… though the good news is that regardless, on March 24th I am flying out of Bangor, Maine and the winter weather that I will leave behind to go to the left coast and have a couple of days to explore a different part of the country… it will be somewhere that will certainly be warmer than it is right now, and somewhere that will provide an inspiring and exciting landscape for me to try to capture with my camera.

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