2021 Death Valley Trip

Monday, March 22

We walked over to the Visitor Center this morning to check out the weather report and the book store. The Visitor Center has two service windows with staff behind Plexiglas to protect them from Covid. The bookstore only allows 6 people at-a-time in the store. There are constant reminders that we aren't back to normal yet.

The weather forecast predicted gusty winds tonight growing into 60 m.p.h. gusts for tomorrow. That sounded a bit ominous.

The valley filled with clouds as the day went on, and we thought it would be a lost day. But late this afternoon, the clouds thinned just enough to create wonderful, warm light on the mountains.

We decided to drive to Zabriskie Point, which is our favorite sunrise location. But this time, we wanted to shoot the clay formations to the south in the warm light. We'd only been to Zabriskie for sunrise in the past, but it turned out to be a good choice for today's lighting.

We made a quick stop on the way to Zabriskie Point to photograph the Inn at Death Valley. It had a different name in the past, but it's still the up-scale place to stay in Death Valley. They've done massive renovations, including building 20 casidas around a lush, green lawn with fabulous views of the Panamint Mountains over the main valley of Death Valley. It's too bad you have to mortgage your home to stay there.

Zabriskie Point was a congregating point for lots of people this evening, which made for a very entertaining couple of hours. We got good photos, enjoyed the changing light on the formations, and had plenty of time for people watching. The sunset was a complete dud, but we had a good afternoon.

Tonight, we'll prepare for the high winds predicted for tomorrow. One of our neighbors started tying things down this afternoon.