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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 21 Jan 2017 (Saturday) 08:52
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Racetrack Playa, Death Valley N.P.

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Joined Dec 2004
Location: Clovis, California.
Jan 21, 2017 08:52 |  #1

I've always been a book reader, just about anything. When I was around 12 I got a book for Christmas, Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World. It had information on all sorts of things around the world, including a mysterious place in far off Death Valley, a place where rocks moved by themselves. The story fascinated me, and yesterday, on my 4th visit to Death Valley I decided to drive the 54 mile round trip on what is called an unpaved road and is better described as a collection of rocks and holes designed to smash out your fillings. The destination was The Racetrack, the site of the rocks that move by themselves.

The drive took about 2 hours for each of the 27 miles and my poor car, with it's 8" inches of ground clearance took a knock or two grounding itself. Other than 1 other Honda, everything else we saw was a "proper" 4wd with larger tires and higher ground clearance.

We got out to the Playa, where the temperature was just above freezing (hottest place on earth you say....). Shot a few pictures for maybe 20 minutes, climbed back in the car and bounced our way back to civilization, just making it back to paved roads as darkness fell.

I was accompanied on this 5 hour jaunt by my Wife, who never discourages me from doing stupid stuff! We should have started earlier, and done it on a day where we weren't driving over 400 miles home. By the time we were back on paved roads it was dark, and we had just over 400 miles left to get home through twisty mountains (I could have gone the longer but easier way but where's the fun in that!) Eventually got home a little before 1 AM, just enough time for a few hours sleep before we had to be up for work the next day.

This is destination two crossed off my childhood bucket list, the first was Monument Valley.

Canon 5DIII, ISO 100, F/6.3, 1/800's, 56mm

IMAGE LINK:​ju  (external link)

Canon 5DIII, ISO 100, F/6.3, 1/1250's, 42mm
IMAGE LINK:​WV  (external link)

While we were there we saw the remnants of some vandalism where some idiots drove over an earth berm, and out onto the playa after a rainstorm, their tire tracks marred the lake bed and with the little rain they receive there, will likely take years to be eroded.

The rocks in the middle ground are known as The Grandstand.

Canon 5DIII, 1/200s, F/11, ISO 100, 70mm.
IMAGE LINK:​yU  (external link)

Gallery (external link) MyGear (external link) About Me (external link)

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happy with myself for not saying anything stupid
18,116 posts
Gallery: 45 photos
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Joined Mar 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Jan 21, 2017 09:31 |  #2

Nice shots, definitely a cool little place...i ended up doing the drive back at night when i went out there

Andre or Dre
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Joined Jul 2005
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Jan 23, 2017 14:43 |  #3

Nice shots!

Canon Digital Rebel T5i, EF-S 17-85mm IS, EF-S 18-135mm IS STM, EF-S 40mm f2.8, EF 50mm f1.8, Speedlite 430EX + some stuff

1,048 posts
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Joined Nov 2016
Location: Riverview, FL USA
Jan 23, 2017 16:52 |  #4

They look nice, I have never been to DV.

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Joined Jul 2009
Jan 24, 2017 13:20 |  #5

Interesting shots and narrative. Thanks!

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Jun 16, 2019 19:38 |  #6


fondling the 5D4
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Joined Sep 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Jun 16, 2019 20:37 |  #7

Looks like you missed focus by about a foot on the first one.

Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - Laowa 9mm - 18-55 - 23/35/50/90 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) -​m (external link)

Terry ­ McDaniel
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Joined Sep 2014
Location: Lebanon, OK
Jun 17, 2019 09:09 |  #8

Such a beautiful place. I've been there a couple of times, both times in the summer. 117 degrees at the Ranger Station at 10:00AM. Very unique place.

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Racetrack Playa, Death Valley N.P.
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