Saturday, November 27, 2010

Racetrack Playa - magical and mystical!

Here are some of my better Racetrack Playa photos. It is definitely one of my favorite Pink Jeep Tours. The Racetrack is a magical place. If you haven't been to the Racetrack yet, this blog will wet your appetite for sure!

Some interesting facts about the Racetrack Playa:

1. The playa is 1,650 acres.

2. The elevation of the playa is 3,708 feet.

3. It is assumed that the playa gets about 5 inches of precipitation per year.

4. 92% of the sliding rocks are dolomite. 8% of the rocks are granite.

Information came from Strolling Stones: The Mystery of Death Valley's Racetrack.

An interesting story about the Racetrack Playa:
One time I was guiding two photographers from Toronto out to the Racetrack. They wanted to get to the playa before the sun came up so that they could get pictures on the playa with the early morning light. I picked them up at Stove-pipe Wells at 2:30 am. We arrived at the Racetrack in pitch darkness. They wanted to get out to the edge of the rocks that have blown out from the nursery cliff so that they could photograph Northwest out over the playa without any rocks in the photos. I had only been there once before so when we stepped out on the playa it was all from my gut. I could just barely see the outline of the Cottonwood Mountains to the east. I pointed out in the darkness and said, "I think this is the way". About thirty minutes later, we stumbled onto the rock in the photo above in the darkness. It was the exact rock I had told them that I wanted to set up at. I have always had a good internal compass. The two photographers asked me how I got us to that exact spot without a GPS? Trying not to boast I said, " just a good sense of direction, I guess."

A few photos of the early morning visit to the Racetrack Playa.
I set my camera on the playa as the sky started to lighten.

The playa was absolutely beautiful as the dawn sky lightened.

The Toronto photographer clicking away as the sky brightened.

This is a photo that the photographers emailed me a week or so later. The man that is dying of thirst is crawling for a icy pitcher and glass of some beverage.

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