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 Death Valley National Park

California

All Photographs Brian & Nancy Morganti


Death Valley

Charcoal Kilns - Ballarat - Trona Pinnacles

Panamint Valley Dunes - Darwin Falls - Father Crowley Point

March 2010

March 12, 2010

Our first stop was at the ghost town of Skidoo (of 23 Skidoo fame) but there wasn't much to see.  All that was left of the town was a flat empty lot where the town once stood.  There were some old mines nearby, but we instead elected to continue on to the Charcoal Kilns which is a row of 10 large stone structures that look like giant beehives.  The road leading to the Kilns had just been opened, but there was still nearly two-feet of snow on the ground surrounding the Kilns. These Kilns were once used to produce charcoal for silver mine smelters.  

We then headed south into the Panamint valley and visited the ghost town of Ballarat which features a few crumbling structures from an old mining supply center.  After that it was time for us to rejoin with our friend Bill Reid and have lunch in the dry and dusty town of Trona.  We drove out onto the parched bed of Searles Lake for a tour of the Trona Pinnacles.  These are strangely shaped towers that are clustered together and stand starkly against the distant hills.  Also of interest is that these pinnacles (made of an unusual "rock" called tufa) once protruded from springs at the bottom of a deep lake between 10,000 and 100,000 years ago.  After we had our fill of the Pinnacles, we headed back north through the Panamint Valley which in itself offers magnificent desolation!  We took a few photo ops of the Panamint Sand Dunes and then headed for a cooler spot---Darwin Falls.  A hike through a narrow and sometimes wet canyon leads to the falls which offer quite a contrast to the nearby desert scenery. 

After our hike to the falls it was nearing sunset and time to head for the scenic overlook of Father Crowley Point.  While we were there a few standing wave clouds began to form and our attention turned to filming these while we were on our way to Lone Pine for the night.  Our final photo-op came well after sunset and was from a high point above the town of Keeler looking west at the Zodiacal Light. 

 


Death Valley - Charcoal Kilns

 


Ballarat Ghost Town

 


Ballarat Ghost Town

 


Trona Pinnacles

 


Trona Pinnacles

 


Trona Pinnacles

 


Trona Pinnacles

 


Trona Pinnacles

 


Death Valley - Panamint Valley

 


Death Valley - Panamint Valley

 


Death Valley - Panamint Valley Sand Dunes

 


Death Valley - Darwin Falls

 


Death Valley - Darwin Falls

 


Death Valley - Darwin Falls Flowers

 


 

Death Valley - Father Crowley Point

 


Death Valley - Father Crowley Point

 


Death Valley - Standing Wave Clouds

 


Death Valley - Standing Wave Clouds

 


Keeler, CA - Zodiacal Light

 

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