Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Silence of the Dunes

It was a beautiful day for a short hike through a "unique habitat (that) is home to kit fox, burrowing owls, lizards, rodents and sidewinder rattlesnakes.
"(In the course of that walk), you'll wander through relatively flat sandy areas marked by cracked mud silt, creosote and mesquite brush" ( mesquite_flat_sand_dunes).

The dunes are surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. Immediately to the south is the Tucki Mountain complex. Behind it to the west are the Panamint Mountains, Death Valley's highest range. To the east (the view shown in the three photos below) are the Grapevine Mountains and Funeral Mountains, which provide a photogenic backdrop.

We had parked along Highway 190 in Death Valley National Park for this walk in the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
"Many first time visitors to Death Valley are surprised it is not covered with a sea of sand. Less than one percent of the desert is covered with dunes, yet the shadowed ripples and stark, graceful curves define 'desert' in our imaginations" (

The farther north I walked, the fewer signs of other visitors there were. Soon footprints virtually disappeared.
For some, the experience of relative isolation in the dunes was the goal.

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