Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Place of Unease

Death Valley's mountains are stunningly beautiful, intricate and dynamic. Their colors, shapes and shadows are mysterious and captivating.

So why am I feeling uneasy? I'm in awe at the beauty on the one hand, yet lost in the vastness on the other. My photography skills are not up to the challenge and my sketching attempts are abysmal failures. But, that's not why I feel uneasy. It's more an unease of place. This might be the most foreign place I've ever visited.

Artist's Drive was surreal, with the colors changing with the time of day, viewing angle and condition of the sky. The first day we visited Artist's Palette, it was overcast and the colors were rich. Our second visit was full sun, washing out the colors.

Artist's Palette, with too much sun to capture the beautiful colors

Getting into the more enclosed canyon areas, I feel more comfortable. The walls hug me and frame the sky in a way I find reasuring, like in the Natural Bridge Canyon.

Natural Bridge Canyon

Once a waterfall, reducing Ed to tiny!

Even Thistle looks tiny in 20 mule team canyon

I think I might need trees for comfort, but for beauty, Edward Abbey says it best:

"There is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere."

- Edward Abbey


  1. Yes, it is certainly desolate . . . . and yet, somehow elegant. I'd be uneasy in those canyons, but not in the broad open spaces. I especially like the perspective of Ed and Benton heading for Thistle on the curvy little road with the land rising up beyond them.

  2. Trees, trees I need trees. Guess I picked the NW for home for a very good reason. But, you're so right, it is so elegant here.