Death Valley: The dry throat of the deadly desert

koenau @koenau
· October 2019 · 3 min read · United States · #photography

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Imagine there's no water, no grass or trees or bloom. Imagine a sun over it, that’s mighty enough to melt plastic. And then imagine a surface from pure stone, from sand and rough gravel, above a wind blows, that burns like the breath of the devil.

Welcome at Death Valley, home oft he driest part in the Mojave Desert, which is the driest national park in the USA. Imagine here’s no animal you can see, no horizon without mountain chains and only roads that leads straight to nothing.

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You are in the southeastern part of the Sierra Nevada, mostly a part of California, lesser a part of Nevada. It’s the heat pole of the United States and it has the deepest place in North America too.

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The name the point "Badwater" and it's one skyscraper under sealevel. If you‘re looking from the small pool with the salty water up to the sign that marks the sea level on the rockface over your head you have to lay your head deep in the neck.

Better you bring a spyglass: Up, up, up and over there is the line where the waves of the pacific ocean hit the beach 300 kilometers west.

Imagine now you're a settler or a hunter a few hundred years ago. You're thirsty like a mountain goat and you're coming along this way, tired and ill. You see a small lake, a fresh spring! It's not a fata morgana, but if you try the water you can only spit out: It's salty and brackish like camel piss.

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Welcome to Badwater, a spring that inspired the band Jinjer to the line "So you want me to drench a desert / bad water is all I've got". Surrounded by a white salt bed is this the deepest point in North America with a "height" of 85.5 meters below sea level. Badwater is the remaining rest of the prehistoric Lake Manly who has filled this valley 150.000 years ago.

There is nothing left from this time. Only sharp-edged stones at the Devils Golf Course nearby, dust and salt crystals huge like ping pong balls. But the mighty of nature causes miracles: In the pool and on the fried surface live animals and plants, it has pickleweed, aquatic insects and with the Badwater snail a mollusc that only exists here, on this hostile place. that only tourists are leaving alive in their air-conditioned cars.

How we did it ;-)

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More pictures under the link-section.

Follow me on my journey through America:

Mt. Withney: High on thin air
Eating flies on Mono Lake
80.000 miles of steel wire
Beyond the everlasting trees
Crazy climbers at El Capitan
The wonder of the Sierra Waves
Into the home of horror
Where Easy Rider is alive
Blue skies over Alabama Hills

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Topics: PHOTOGRAPHYREISE

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