This March I had a short trip planned to go to Death Valley. While preparing for my trip—charging batteries, checking SD cards, making sure I have all my lenses—I thought, “How fun would it be to take photos of some Strymon pedals in this beautiful place!” I’d never been to Death Valley, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know whatever I saw was going to be magnificent. I didn’t have any clear vision, other than it seemed like Strymon pedals would look really cool in many of these landscapes. I decided Deco and blueSky would be my travel partners, and off to Death Valley we went.
Our travels took us up the 14 freeway where we saw a stop for Red Rock Canyon State Park. This is a nice, quick hike loop where there are some beautiful rock formations.
Just up the 14 from Red Rock Canyon is Fossil Falls. Of course the name alone is very intriguing, but this is a great place to stop. It’s another short hike to get to the fantastic basaltic lava falls. It is fun to just sit there and decide what shape/fossil the lava rocks resemble.
After Fossil Falls, we entered the amazing Death Valley. As a park ranger told us, “Death Valley is a 3.1 million acre playground.” There are very few areas of Death Valley you can’t explore. Although, Death Valley can be so brutally dry, hot, and harsh that the majority of people that visit will only see a small taste of what that 3.1 million acres has to offer.
One of the many things that attracts people to Death Valley is the 20 or more varieties of wildflowers that paint the desert with color. Because of the drought this was not the best wildflower year, but blueSky wasn’t complaining. It was still beautiful. 🙂
From the softness and beauty of the wildflowers, we headed over to the harsh, spiky, but impressive sculpted salt in the area known as “Devil’s Golf Course.” Called this because “only the Devil could play golf on this surface.” It looks impressive from far, but, as you start to walk through, it takes on a whole other life. The peaks and valleys are all interesting, and make sure to keep your balance, because, if you fall, you are sure to get some cuts from the sharp salt peaks.
Everywhere you turn in Death Valley, the landscape changes. Mosaic Canyon was the most dramatic and was where we saw the most gorgeous rocks. As you begin to hike through it, the sides of the canyon are smooth, water-polished marble. It is a treat for your senses to run your hand over the marble.
Our last stop in Death Valley brought a wonderful surprise of a waterfall. After enjoying the dry cracked earth, just a little ways away is this refreshing waterfall. We spent a lot of time just sitting on the rocks thinking about how nice it would have been to capture the sound of the falls.
On the way home, we made one more stop at the ghost town, Ballarat. Ballarat’s most lively days were from 1897 to 1905 when it held the important task of storing supplies for the mines in the Panamints. But those days were numbered, and the ghost town is now host to a convenience store and campers from all over looking for a place to stay for a night or two.
I can’t believe that after living in L.A. for over 30 years that I had never been to Death Valley. Now I can’t wait to get back and explore some more of those 3.1 million acres.
If you liked any of the photos and want to download a screensaver, you can find full resolution versions over at our Flickr page here. If you want to see some pictures taken without Strymon pedals, please visit my Flickr page here.
My Strymon pedals and I are already thinking about the next photo adventure we should take, do you have any suggestions?
Have you ever thought about taking your Strymon Pedals to Yosemite? It’s beautiful out there! Fantastic backdrops!!
Yes! Would be wonderful to take pictures of El Capistan with El Capitan 😀 Going to try to make that happen.