The minimalism of the desert landscape from afar is one of things I truly cherish when I explore the Mojave Desert. These two desert panoramics showcase that perfectly. Both were taken on my most recent trip last month up Highway 395, the same day in fact. The first was on my morning drive as I was leaving the LA metro area, and the latter was late afternoon as I neared the campsite for the first night of my trip at the Eureka Dunes in Death Valley National Park.
There’s something refreshing about escaping all the complexities of a busy life and going to a place that has very few distractions. I keep going back to one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies:
Jackson Bentley: What is it, Major Lawrence, that attracts you personally to the desert?– Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
T.E. Lawrence: It’s clean.
Morning Light in the High Desert
This image reminds me of all my childhood camping trips going out to Death Valley or other desert destinations. We usually left before dawn and us kids would nap in the car until the sun slowly woke us as it announced it’s coming over the eastern landscape. Watching that slow transition to day is so special for me.
This was captured about an hour after sunrise near the junction of highways 14 and 178 heading towards the Owens Valley. I have driven this stretch so many times I could probably do it in my sleep, and this particular trip this stretch of road had just that special glow to it as I passed.
Eureka Valley, Death Valley National Park
Eureka Valley is in the northwestern corner of Death Valley National Park, one of the more remote parts of a remote park. Most people just drive it to see dunes, or pass through as they enter/leave the park. The last couple of times I have been there I have been the only person in the whole valley the entire time I was there. However, this trip I was actually shocked to find the valley teaming with visitors. I don’t know if it was due to all the COVID closures, if it was just the season to visit, or if it has just become a popular destination.
I hope you enjoy these two desert panoramics. If you want to see more photos from my trip up Highway 395 last month you can visit the gallery of my trip here.