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The "desert paradise" is Death Valley, of course, the sixth largest of our national parks, the largest in the contiguous states. The largest five are all in Alaska, pretty far away and pretty much different in almost all ways.
Susan and I spent four days in DV (January 2011) watching as the sun painted the desert-scape with colors we'd only imagined. Sunrise and sunset found me hunched around my tripod waiting for the light, and even the higher sun of mid-morning and -afternoon offered desert prizes of great worth, like Artist's Palette and Dante's View, and even Scottie's Castle, an anomaly of the first order.
Badwater was a special treat because it had water in it, actual splashing and reflecting water. Mesquite Flat was something of a disappointment because much of it was covered with footprints that I had great trouble trying to walk beyond. I need to buy a longer lens, I guess.
Zabriskie Point deserves its high reputation; it is an overexposed icon for good reason. Panamint Valley deserves a much closer look on a later trip. Our drive through it was frustratingly short. We'll go back.
From Death Valley we drove over to Lone Pine so that I could get up in the dark again and catch the alpenglow on the snow covered Sierra through one of the famous but hard to track down arches of the Alabama Hills.
What a fine trip it was. I hope my photographs will stir you to visit Death Valley, or revisit it if you've already been lucky enough to see it.
As always, thanks for looking at my photographs.
© Jack Quintero Photography