PhotoPost; High Desert, California

PhotoEssay;  Mohave Region, California by Jack Holmes.  All images copyrighted 2011. On The Porch by Jack Holmes Randsburg Saturday by Jack Holmes Break in Randsburg by Jack Holmes                       WalkIn at Randsburg by Jack Holmes                         Lunch at Randsburg by Jack Holmes       Bottle Tree by Jack Holmes Trona Pinnacles by Jack Holmes     Big Pine Museum by Jack Holmes   Wagon at Big Pine by Jack Holmes   Big Pine Museum by Jack Holmes Bottles at Big Pine by Jack Holmes Ventifact at Alabama Hills by Jack Holmes   Alabama Hills Bluebird by Jack Holmes   Manzanar Gate by Jack Holmes   Guard Tower at Manzanar by Jack Holmes   Barracks Wall at Manzanar by Jack Holmes Cemetery Monument at Manzanar by Jack Holmes Monument at Manzanar by Jack Holmes Origami Crane at Manzanar by Jack Holmes Manzanar by Jack Holmes   Joshua Tree by Jack...

Irregular Posts; California 2, Owens Valley

Owens Valley, Friday 8th, Thursday the day long sandstorm at Mesquite Flats, the small dune space near Stovepipe Wells, had been too severe to even get out of the car.  From a distance, the air had looked like a beige fog hanging over the desert.  Before dawn Friday morning, Meg and I drove to this small sand dune field near Stovepipe Wells where we lodged.  Clouds and cold wind, rain and virga off to the north and the eastern mountains.  Snow had fallen during the night on the slopes above 7, 000 feet.  The rising sun was weak yellow through the clouds but it illuminated the virga and rain shields with a soft yellow glow against the blue-violet sky/clouds.  The wind, reduced from Thursday’s howler, still blew sand along the dunes and covered our clothes with a fine grit; “Keep the lens covered until it is needed”.   I set up the tripod and did some multiple image shooting for High Dynamic Range, HDR, in the dunes at sunrise.  Meg walked and shot handheld.  Rain began to fall lightly by 7:30.  Rain in the desert!  We packed up and headed for breakfast. After a “jug” of coffee and a vat of oatmeal for breakfast, we headed west out of Death Valley to the Owens Valley, and then up into the high desert and on to Lone Pine.  The Ranger at the Visitor’s Center said that there was still no settlement on the Federal budget as of noon Washington time.  Lodgers had been told that they had 48 hours to vacate the government run parks and campgrounds.   Towns and businesses that...

PhotoPost; Death Valley, California

PhotoEssay;  Death Valley, California by Jack Holmes.  All images copyrighted 2011.                                     Canyon Hikers                                                                                                    ...

Irregular Posts; California 1, Death Valley

Death Valley; Friday, April 8th The drive through the central desert from the Santa Barbara Mountains, north of Ontario California, to Death Valley was stark.  Nothing to draw the eye; no trees, no streams, no visual attractions; just the straight yellow lined asphalt roadbed.  The high desert gravel and scrub stretched to the horizon in all directions.  Occasionally a group of dusty, make-do buildings things would dot the scrublands.  Abandoned things sat all about; a couch, a truck chassis without tires, an old stove with the oven door open.  Sometimes the cluster of buildings was large enough to have a sign by the road “Entering… Population…  Elevation…”. “Exit for Ridgecrest, 1 mile.” my friend Peter read from the highway sign.  “We should eat lunch and then you can drive the next couple of hours to Death Valley.”  My wife, Meg, and Peter’s wife, Elsie, were in conversation in the back seat of our van. This was the only town of size in the area.  It has a military base there for weapons testing.  The buildings in town are one or two stories tall.  Many businesses seemed to exist to service the base and it’s personnel.  Other businesses serviced them.  We noticed the motel that we would return to in a few days time.  If the base were to be closed permanently, the town would die.  Except for borax and some minor minerals, there is little else to recommend the area. Death Valley is the largest National Park in the lower 48.  The long valley runs north-south between two mountain ranges.  Two highways, with some branch roads, pass traverse it;...