My favorite dune in Death Valley

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When we photograph sand dunes in Death Valley, Mary and I like to park at the Stovepipe Wells monument parking area and walk into the low dune field just north.  This is a couple of miles north of the larger Mesquite dunes.  There is a beautiful C-shaped dune about 10 o’clock west from this parking area that has captivated me for years.  For the third time, I made the long hike to go photograph it.  Here is what I saw.

Distances in the desert can be very deceiving.  The dune is 1.25 miles from the parking area and it took me about 45 to minutes to walk there.  It is even bigger than I remembered and is now at least two stories high.  The C-shape is even more pronounced and it seems to have incorporated two smaller dunes nearby.

About half way there
About half way there

I am pretty sure, no one else is foolish enough to make this long hike, so I photographed it as I made my way towards the top.  I felt ambivalent as I walked up the slope, stopping to photograph every 10 feet or so.  I knew I was leaving footprints behind, but I also knew i was getting an angle that one can only get by climbing the dune.  I rationalized that I would be the only one out here for weeks and the footprints would be long one by the next time the great dune saw its next visitor.

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I will see you the next time, old friend.  Here is my earlier blog post about this wonderful dune.

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