Tall Tales From The Field

Death Valley’s Sublime Eureka Dunes

This is probably the eight time I’ve visited Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park and I still get a thrill from the experience.  Once again I was buzzed by fighter jets but these jets from nearby China Lake Naval Base.  I spent a couple of days here so I’ll have 2 or 3 posts from here. What’s great about sand dunes is that they are always shifting so you may see something you hadn’t seen before including your own shadow!(See Below)  Is that my shadow or someone else standing down there?

 

It was pretty warm out there(80 F) and there was no shade and the heat was bouncing off the sand. Hiking dunes can be an exercise in futility.

It was pretty warm out there(80 F)  with no shade and the heat bouncing off the sand. Hiking dunes can be an exercise in futility. I was afraid to make tracks in these amazing sand patterns because they were so pristine. Eureka Dunes is in a remote part of Death Valley and has few visitors.

 

The road to Eureka Dunes.

The road to Eureka Dunes, wash boarding and teeth rattling  included.

 

Those are the Last Chance Mountains in the background, a somewhat fitting name for Death Valley

Those are the Last Chance Mountains in the background, a somewhat fitting name for Death Valley

 

Death Valley's Eureka Dunes

 

Patterns and ripples produced by erosion are the dominant features of Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Patterns and ripples produced by erosion are the dominant features of Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park, California

Andy Warhol couldn’t design patterns this cool.

 

Patterns and ripples produced by erosion are the dominant features of Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park, California

 

DV Jet_7637

These jets come onto you real fast. You don’t hear them until they pass although another flew about 200 feet right above me. My camera was not close unfortunately. Next time these pilots should call me and let me know they’re coming.

 

Patterns and ripples produced by erosion are the dominant features of Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Patterns and ripples produced by erosion are the dominant features of Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Patterns and ripples produced by erosion are the dominant features of Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Vegetation clings to life at Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park, California

 

Campground site in a remote area of Death Valley National Park, California

It got down into the mid 30sF during the night as a full moon was rising. I was stalked by a kangaroo rat while sitting around the fire. They are  similar to a field mouse but like to run around on their hind legs, hence the name. Next time I’ll get a pic. Then the zipper on my tent broke and I was afraid that rat would join me during the night.

 

 

20 responses

  1. Amy

    These sand dunes images are incredibly beautiful. I’m in awe with the shadow capture of the first one. The lonely tree is a great capture.
    Camping alone… stay safe, Michael.

    Like

    March 4, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    • Thanks Amy. There were a few other people camping near me including someone sleeping in his vehicle with the motor running.I guess he had the heater on. And don’t forget the kangaroo rat!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 4, 2016 at 12:01 PM

      • Amy

        with his motor running! 🙂
        kangaroo rat! I really don’t want to think about it… 😕

        Liked by 1 person

        March 4, 2016 at 12:20 PM

  2. Beautiful shots of these dunes! I tried to go there last year and turned around at the sight of the rough road for the final 10 miles… 😦

    Like

    March 4, 2016 at 11:44 AM

  3. Such gorgeous patterns, Mike. They are mesmerizing…one can stare at them at great length and never tire. The 4th from the last photo made me think of the stripes on zebras or tigers, no two alike. Like that ‘Nature by the Numbers’ video I posted, you feel that Universal connection at work here.

    Like

    March 4, 2016 at 12:50 PM

  4. Lovely images of the dunes. They are indeed very beautiful and so changing depending of the light…(Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    March 4, 2016 at 2:22 PM

  5. Beautiful place, the mountains remind me of the Richtersveld in my country – South Africa. Death Valley is definitely on my bucket list!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 5, 2016 at 2:22 AM

  6. Sand dunes always make a good photo. Thanks for sharing these.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 5, 2016 at 8:22 AM

  7. Sweet photos of the dunes, I’ve seen Kangaroo Rats go around the base of our tent with their front paws looking for a way in.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 5, 2016 at 2:51 PM

  8. These are pretty awesome. I really like the one with the little dried tree. It brings into reality the sheer barrenness of the area.

    Like

    March 6, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    • Thanks Jared. I like those dead trees too. I’m not sure how anything lives out there

      Like

      March 6, 2016 at 12:02 PM

  9. The fighter jets sound pretty awesome! How funny the zip broke and you were worried about acquiring a furry friend 🙂

    Like

    March 7, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    • It was weird how these kangaroo rats would walk right up to me while I was sitting in my chair. I’m sure they would have no problem joining me in my tent.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 8, 2016 at 1:04 PM

  10. Beautiful images. About the rat, new tent?

    Like

    March 12, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    • Thanks Anne. I think I was able to fix the zipper because I don’t want to have to buy a whole new tent.

      Like

      March 12, 2016 at 5:06 PM

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