Tuesday, January 28, 2014

For a long time I have wanted to travel to Death valley and see the Racetrack. For those who don't know, the Racetrack is a playa or a dry lake bed where the rocks move, leaving "tracks" where they have been. The Racetrack is dry for most of the year. I have never even seen a picture of it wet. Unfortunately when I arrived, it was really wet. The scenic rocks were in the middle of the playa, and walking through the mud was not an option. The mud is thick and builds on itself; within a few steps you would have several inches of mud stuck to your boots and leave damage to the playa for years to come.
Although beautiful in its own way, the photo's were definitely not what I was hoping for. That night I camped on the dry part of the playa and enjoyed it for what it was.
 That night was extremely cold. I had not expected the freezing weather with a 60 degree day. I awoke early the next morning and headed back towards the racetrack area. Once I arrived I could not believe what I saw; the Racetrack had frozen solid over night. I skated out and waited for sunrise.
Once sunrise hit, the true race began. I ran/slid from rock to rock to utilize as much of the gorgeous light as I could.

 It is amazing how far the rocks have gone over time.

I searched the area and found one small rock on the dry playa. This photo is similar to what I would have had without ice. Lucky me, I ended up with the best of both!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

 Mono Lake is a extremely salty shallow lake located in Mono County California. The salinity is due to the lake having no outlet. The inlet is fresh water but Los Angeles diverted water from it causing evaporation and lack of inlet flow to lower the lake level.
 Once the lake was lowered, these tufa's showed up. The tufa's are formed when freshwater springs containing high carbonate levels mix with the salt water creating stalagmite formations.
 Some of the formations are small, but many are 10-12' in height.
 A sand tufa is lit by the moon while airline traffic flies overhead.
 Alpenglow at sunset.
 The blue hour after sunset
 A quarter moon illuminates the foreground while stars shine brightly.
 This is a sand tufa at Mono Lake. Some are so delicate that even a touch will cause them to crumble. Above is a black and white image looking down on a sand tufa — 
A flashlight creates shadows on sand tufa's just before sunrise.