Friday, March 26, 2021

Death Valley, it's not what you expect

 I've lived in California three different times, and not once was I tempted to go to Death Valley. That was a mistake.

I assumed it would be sand, sand, and more sand. After all, it's in the Mojave Desert and has the highest recorded temperature in the world: 134 F. And while it had incredible sand dunes, it was so, so much more.

We hiked into Mosaic Canyon. It's a slot canyon, so sections are very narrow. 

My husband.

Our daughter-in-law climbing a narrow, steep section.

In one of the wider areas. The gray section below looks paved, but it's actually gravel from the rock walls washed down by storms. It's pretty tiring to hike on, so we stuck to the stone.

Then, there were the mudflats. (Parts of Star Wars, A New Hope were filmed in DV, so some vistas, like this one, looked very familiar.)

And, least expected, an oasis. Deep in Death Valley.
This doesn't look like the way to a promising oasis. We wondered if the drought had dried it up.

Green plants gave us hope.
Actual running water! (Our son standing above it.) 

Willows, ferns, moss, and a pool filled with fish.
In the middle of Death Valley...

And, because I can never have a post without a metaphor, it reminded me of a good book. How it takes what you expect--desert and sand--and turns it into soaring rock, narrow twists, and unexpected rest and joy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Vacation and Point of View


We're on vacation, visiting family. And I couldn't help but go to the beach (Which was allowed.) The sea calls to me. I think I'm a quarter mermaid.

The above photo is of me on a dune in very high winds. The light and thick air gave the photo a haunting, ethereal quality. It reminded me of the novel Dune. I took a few other photos (see below).  

The final photo below, taken at the same beach, reminds me how much perspective changes the look of things. When I'm writing, I spend a lot of time considering which character needs to be the point-of-view character. It can completely alter the story.