Easter in Death Valley

Easter morning, we all slept in and then after a traditional Easter breakfast of instant oatmeal, we went for an Easter hike. The plan was to drive to the end of the Hole in the Wall Road and then hike up to the mysterious Red Amphitheatre. We started by hiking up an intimate side canyon to a hill overlooking a large fan that spilled out of a open valley behind the nearby ridge. Along the way, we saw lots of fossils and probably the only blooming Mojave Aster – Xylorhiza tortifloria –  in the park (it was a very dry year).


Also along the way, my beloved camera started acting up with the shutter not firing or staying open too long. As we walked, I went through the five stages of grief: first was denial – well, maybe this is a one time only failure, OK, maybe two times, three? – anger – shit! this can’t be happening, what is wrong with this stupid camera – bargaining – maybe if I turn it off and let it cool down, maybe if I change the battery – then depression which was pretty short and, finally, acceptance – well, this is an incredible place and the weather is great; I’ll just put my camera away and enjoy the trip. We soon stopped in the shade and had a leisurely Easter Lunch while I returned to bargaining by turning the camera off and then back on to get a shot.

When we got back to camp, I tried several shots of Gina and Courtney in their Easter finery but my camera was committing Hara-Kiri before my eyes.


After much Lightroom work when I got back home, I was able to semi save one shot.

Then acceptance set in. On Easter Monday – Egg Nyte – we spent the morning hiking in the badlands below our campsite. In the afternoon, we went to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes to watch the sun get low where Michele used her iPhone to get a short video.

The next day we drove home where it was raining.





One thought on “Easter in Death Valley

  1. I’m very impressed you attained acceptance of camera Hara-kiri, especially in Death Valley!
    I would have been hopelessly mired between anger and bargaining; if you call smashing the camera with a large rock “bargaining”. But you are wiser than I.
    Nice save in LR…high fashion shooting in that environment could be really entertaining; bring some stilettos with those pajamas next time!
    Good thing Michele’s iPhone worked, that short movie on the dunes in low light is great. I got a cool app for my iPhone to use while biking / skiing that smooths out the bumps; it’s called Dollycam…try it sometime!

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