Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa
I made a trip this past week to the remote Racetrack Playa at Death Valley National Park in California. The road out there is a teeth-rattling 27 miles of washboarded surface. There were only a few other vehicles out there, this is not a trip for the meek. I was just happy that my Ford Ranger managed to stay in one piece, but barely.
Racetrack Playa is famous for its moving or sailing rocks. These rocks move without human interference on this extremely flat dry lake bed and leave a trail behind. Scientists believe the movement is produced by high winds when the surface either becomes wet or possibly frozen from a cold night.
You want to talk about flat! The Racetrack is 2.8 miles long but the north end is only 1 1/2 inches higher than the south end.
On this day, the winds were extremely strong with gusts up to 50 mph. It knocked over my camera and tripod at one point but I was there to catch.
Look for a future post where I actually capture the rocks MOVING in a time lapse video! Never been done before. Posts of Eureka Dunes, the Owens Valley and The Sierra Nevada’s will follow later this week.