Monday, April 26, 2010
Part 3 of Pahrump and Death Valley
I will attempt to get caught up with our latest Death Valley adventures. On our last day there, we traveled to the far northern reaches of the park to explore the Playa Racetrack. This is a dry lake bed that we saw a feature on The Discovery Channel a few years ago. It seems that the rocks fall from the surrounding mountains onto the edges of the lake bed and, from there, the mystery enters in. These rocks move, seemingly on their own, across the width of the lake bed. Here is a panorama of the lake bed itself and some of the surrounding mountains. This is the first time we have been in Death Valley and seen a cloud of any kind. Made for some very interesting photography. This pano does not show the tracks from the rock paths, those can be seen from my photos below. This was a fascinating phenomenon to see!
To get to this area, we had to use a rough, 4WD road that was interesting in itself. We arose to almost 5,000 feet and then back down to the lower elevation where the lake bed was. There were tons of yuccas and Joshua trees in some places, other places were barren desert and rocks.
Here are multiple rocks that worked their way across the lake bed. Interesting, huh?
This was the granddaddy of the rocks, it was the largest and had dug the deepest tracks. We followed the tracks of one rock that went all the way from one side to the other, only to have been removed by some thoughtless, no-class idiot (yes, it infuriates me!), which we found to be so disappointing.
This was a wonderful day!