2021 Death Valley Trip

Sunday, March 21

Today was a beautiful, warm and sunny day. The clear blue sky wasn't great for photography, but the temperatures were in the 70's and it was very comfortable. We spent the morning recovering from our trek up and and down the sand dunes yesterday.

In the early evening, we drove down the main road toward Badwater. We were going to hike up Golden Canyon, but the parking lot was full, and we didn't want people in all our photos. We drove down to Artist Palette Drive and photographed the combination of the alluvial fans with the colors of the igneous and sedimentary layers in the mountain ridges behind them. We climbed a ridge to get an overview of the area, but it was more entertaining to watch the people. A couple were getting engagement photos taken standing on top of a large rock. We met a family with four small children on the trail who had enough energy for five families. They hiked up to the top, looked around, and were almost back down to the trailhead before we were ready to leave.

Our final stop was Artists Palette where we took one of our favorite group photos from our Sierra Club Photo Section days. We were in our 40's and standing around a giant wooden sign. It was a gorgeous day, and we were having a great trip with good friends. Sadly, our group has slowly dispersed. None of our group is active in the Photo Section since it moved away from photo trips. Wendell has moved to Santa Cruz. Caroline has moved to the Bay Area. Jim no longer does any photography, and Don and Pat have been doing larger, foreign trips. Artist Point is now covered with trails and people climb all over the formations that we used to photograph. Even the huge wooden sign has been replaced by a small, modern sign.

We photographed until the sun dropped behind the mountains and returned to camp for dinner. It was a formal night, so we wrapped up the day with a movie.