A few years ago, I went to Death Valley over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and head a great time. I decided to do this every year. So I did for one year in a row and ended up doing some family stuff the last 2 years. This year I got a chance to go back.
My WeeStrom has a blown fork seal so I decided to take the DR350 up on a truck. The Dr350 is much easier to ride in dirt anyways. I loaded it onto the truck and set off later than I should have as usual. I got to Panamint Springs resort on Wednesday before thanksgiving at Sunset. Too late to ride after setting up camp. About a third of the campers at Panamint Springs were riders, most of the rest were jeepers an photographers. O'Hooligan (Gerry), his wife, and another inmate came by and said hello. Gerry also has a DR350, but his died on him at the Charcoal kilns and had to be trucked back to camp.
Thursday morning ride was to the sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells. This was all pavement, about 30 miles. I wanted to go to Zabriskie point to get a sunrise picture, but slept in too long to get there before sunrise. It turns out there is a good spot at the dunes to take pictures right near the parking lot.
The little sand berm with dead trees on it was perfect and I arrived just as the warm morning light hit the dead wood.
I think many photographers pass this up and hike a few miles in looking for that perfect dune picture. It's easy to miss good photo opportunities if you are focused on the classical locations.
Rather than hiking into the dunes for 2 hours to find pristine sand with no human footprints, I decided to walk around the lower dunes. There were a lot of photographers about the dunes, but few on the lower dunes. Walking about, I found another dead tree that looked like it might make a good subject.
Here is something interesting
It looks like some dry mud puddles partly exposed from under the sand dunes.
These brushy trees grow in the transition region between the valley floor and the Sand Dunes.
Some areas there were small animal tracks in the sand.
I circled back to the parking lot though the transition zone between valley floor and and the sand dunes. Not many footprints here as most people go strait into the dunes int he direction of the tallest one.
Next, I headed to Titus Canyon.