Sun 27-Jan-13 12:22 AM | edited Sun 27-Jan-13 12:33 AM by jrp
Near in the Furnace Creek area, is the Badwater Basin. At 282 ft (86 m) below sea level, this is the lowest point in North America. The Badwater Basin is a surreal landscape of vast borax (salt) flats. The newsletter of the park advised that a temporary lake may form here after heavy rainstorms. It did not for us, but there was a small pool of water. Not a quiet pool; its surface combed violently by steady and bitter cold winds. So the reflections of the mountains behind it would not be sharp. A fence and signs prohibited getting closer to the pond than from the side of the road, in the parking space. But we were there to make the most of it.
Here it is before daybreak:
Nikon D700 on a MAGICA 3.3 tripod, 28-70mm f/2.8D Ed If AF-S @ 70mm, f/18, 4 seconds, ISO 800 LEE Neutral Density graduated 1 f-stop filter over the mountains.
Tue 29-Jan-13 05:10 AM | edited Tue 29-Jan-13 05:13 AM by Robman3
Very nice Ramon,
It is a magic place.
Later on in the day, one can observe jeep tracks where some idiot did a run about 2005, in the pool, that will take decades to disappear.
This water is seepage from post glacial aquifers, as the Great Basin generally fills and drains into the next lower aquifers. That is the main source of water in the park.
Stove Pipe Well, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Cotton Ball Marsh, Bad Water etc. and the Armagosa water shed which feeds from the southern end, all of these percolate up because of the low elevations.
I had asked Bob Greenburg about Salt Creek, when I was there a few weeks back, because I'm on a long term shoot/project documenting the water, and I was under the impression that much of it is rain induced, turns out not so much.
In the Huell Howser PBS doc, he actually does a kayak float, on Lake Manley (2006).
Another great illustration on how the light changes as the sun comes up. It is unfortunate that the NPS decided to build that ramp and overlook extension which really destroys the view for photography. On my first trip to DV in 2005 this did not exist, or at least I don't remember it being there. I'm sure Galen Rowell is spinning in his grave since he made an iconic image of this place back in 1984 that, because of the new construction, could not be made today.
Tue 29-Jan-13 04:36 PM | edited Wed 30-Jan-13 01:59 AM by Robman3
It was built since that time, in part to preserve what was left of the place which was getting trampled as many people, who simply do not read, or care to follow posted signs about keeping distances from the edges and no adequate parking.
As noted, in '05 someone did drive their jeep through it, those tracks have disappeared on the flats, but remain in the pool.
The funds for maintaining the NPs dried up during the '00s, politics.
The park had a facelift, roads especially, begun around '09 and in part to allow mitigated access to tour buses, vehicles and the handicapped. Some roads (to Eureka are again washed out) and the refurbished headquarters, is among the last of the stimulus funded upgrades.
The lower Salt Creek interpretive trail, where the Pup Fish roam (February through March) has a walkway, suspended through it, and lots of signs. We were there in mid afternoon, and someone had decided it was OK to stomp off of the wooden path, with their dog, leaving sloshed boot prints, and dog prints along the edge of the main stream.
I made a comment to the docent, and she just shook her head, saying that (hoping) a rain event might come along and be strong enough to scour the creek before summer.