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Old 7th April 2011, 13:08   #1
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It was Spring Break and the weather in the Bay Area was nowhere near spring with storms lashing lots of rain and no sunshine on any weekend. My friends and I thought this would be a perfect time to make a getaway to the Death Valley National Park!

It had rained just a week back there and we were looking forward to pleasant temperatures and desert flower blooms and nice clouds to form vibrant backgrounds for our photos! We planned to rent an SUV (good for the high-clearance trail roads in Death Valley and also good to carry all the camping stuff we would have) and drive to to Death Valley from the Bay Area and take a night halt at Lone Pine to see Alabama Hills (which is a nice hilly area near the south of the Eastern Sierras and where a lot of Wild West movies have been shot)

My friend had rented a car online from Budget car rental and unfortunately we didn't have a good experience there. When adding a driver under 25 they didn't mention anything, but as soon as we had rented our ride and started our journey, a Nissan Murano, we got a call saying Budget didn't allow drivers under 25 and we needed to go back! On getting back, since the rental was on the SJC airport, parking was expensive and we had to make rounds just to find the right parking spot. All this cost us 2 hrs and we decided to cancel the rental and go to Enterprise from whom we had rented cars before for drivers under 25.
The experience there was good and we got a good deal on a luxury SUV, the Lincoln MKX (a rebadged Ford Edge), not really an SUV, but good for high clearance trails. As with any American car, we realized we were going to get a huge fuel bill!

Our first day was more or less a long drive on the boring I-5 upto Bakersfield, from where we took the CA 58 to cross the Sierras from the south and hit the scenic highway 395, which runs right across the Eastern Sierras. The journey to Lone Pine took about 6-7 hrs including a break and we were eager to catch the sunset at Alabama Hills. Unfortunately there was a snowstorm on the sierras and we couldn't get nice sunset shots.

The Owens river, with the snowstorm over the Eastern Sierras visible on the right
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Alabama Hills, with our ride in the foreground
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Yes, the car had lights under the ORVMs! (to see what you're stepping into when coming out of the car?)
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Finally happy with the way things turned out with the storm, we went to the Best Western Inn hotel that we'd reserved a room at for a good night's sleep looking forward to enter Death Valley the next day.



The next morning, we had decided to capture sunrise over Alabama Hills and then head over to Death Valley. Luckily the storm over the Sierras was just clearing and we got nice clearing storm landscapes at sunrise.

Sunrise bringing out the pink in the clouds over the Sierras
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The famous Mobius Arch
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Just after sunrise on Alabama Hills
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After sunrise, we decided to head over for a bit on Whitney Portal (the road which leads to the basecamp of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous USA) to see the storm aftermath and were blessed with the freshest, driest, softest and 'powderiest' snow we had seen!

Thats the only pic of the Lincoln that I took here
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The powdery snow, it tasted awesome, felt just like ice-cream
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Loved the contrast between the snow on the mountain ranges and the brown in the valley (this is the Owens valley)
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A Pine tree (no way related to the peak) in front of the Lone Pine peak (this peak gives the town its name)
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Whitney Portal with Mt. Whitney seen in the background (the spires seen just to the right of the center)
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After experiencing the awesome snow, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast and left for Death Valley from there on...

Day 2, entering Death Valley

The Crowley point, the first vista point after entering death valley from the west
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Badwater Basin, the lowest point in contiguous USA
This is a vast salt flat
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A Panorama
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Artists Palette, an interesting colorful landscape formed from various minerals
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Sunset light on cliffs, rightly called The Red Cathedral
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Last edited by GTO : 15th April 2011 at 17:10. Reason: Merging three posts so that the opening post is content-worthy.
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Old 7th April 2011, 13:23   #2
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Your ride has stolen the show. I just couldn't stop myself looking at it.
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Old 7th April 2011, 13:29   #3
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Wow! Could you post more photos? The sky looks awesome!

.
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Old 7th April 2011, 13:37   #4
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Wow the Lincoln looks stunning. Waiting for more pictures.
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Old 7th April 2011, 13:51   #5
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

The car sure does look Amazing! nice find What, is it a 5 seater SUV?
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Old 7th April 2011, 13:53   #6
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Thats an angry face.
It looks like the dragon sean connery voiced in "dragon-heart", with the ridge down the middle of the hood.
PS:Had a very different image of the death valley in my head(from discovery channel/movies basically).
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Old 7th April 2011, 14:22   #7
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Why is it called the 'Death Valley'?
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Old 7th April 2011, 14:30   #8
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Wow, the beast steals the show. Sorry, the photos are good, but being an autoholic, I could not help but drool over the SUV more than the locales itself!
Bring on more photos.

P.S: Is that a 5 seater?

Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 7th April 2011 at 14:31.
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Old 7th April 2011, 15:21   #9
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Surely, your lincoln steal the show here as everybody said. The lights on the ORVM is a good thought. The front looks huge but in a good way.
Can you post some interior pics too of your ride. Your it would be fantastic going by the outer appearance.
and nice pics of the drive . Waiting for more updates.
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Old 7th April 2011, 15:58   #10
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Nice drooling pic of the beast, specially the last one.
But can you use the brand new Assembly line feature for this please?

Thanks,
Amitoj
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Old 7th April 2011, 19:48   #11
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

WOW, Death Valley. It reminds me of the story done by National Geographic. It is about a couple(or individual, cant remember) lost out in this valley during winter (no means to reach out to the world. The park is closed during winter). How they survived this ordeal, is pretty terrifying.

More than the story, the Lincoln is captivating.
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Old 7th April 2011, 20:49   #12
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Quote:
Originally Posted by misguidedmisile View Post
The car sure does look Amazing! nice find What, is it a 5 seater SUV?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
P.S: Is that a 5 seater?
Yes, this is a 5-seater, though I would call it a crossover and not an SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
Thats an angry face.
It looks like the dragon sean connery voiced in "dragon-heart", with the ridge down the middle of the hood.
PS:Had a very different image of the death valley in my head(from discovery channel/movies basically).
The front to me gives the whole car the look of an oversize Whale

These pics are not from Death Valley, but from the Eastern Sierras

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelwriter View Post
Why is it called the 'Death Valley'?
Death Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Refer the history section

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Surely, your lincoln steal the show here as everybody said. The lights on the ORVM is a good thought. The front looks huge but in a good way.
Can you post some interior pics too of your ride. Your it would be fantastic going by the outer appearance.
and nice pics of the drive . Waiting for more updates.
Sorry, didn't think of interior pics. Had gone to take landscapes mainly, the car shots were just an added bonus

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Nice drooling pic of the beast, specially the last one.
But can you use the brand new Assembly line feature for this please?

Thanks,
Amitoj
I had thought of doing just a photologue, but ended up writing some stuff as well, hence this section directly
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Old 7th April 2011, 21:15   #13
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Nice pics, and we demand more!

By the way, while on the Mojave Desert, did you come across a road with a weird name---something like Zzyxzyx Road?
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Old 10th April 2011, 12:48   #14
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Nice travelogue ,MeghanSuperb pictures and a great drive you have. Awesome snow.Please post those pics in The auto and Non Auto image thread.Which camera do you use?Do reply
Sreehari
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Old 11th April 2011, 21:58   #15
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Default Re: Death Valley: A Photologue

Quote:
Originally Posted by shk 8896 View Post
Nice travelogue ,MeghanSuperb pictures and a great drive you have. Awesome snow.Please post those pics in The auto and Non Auto image thread.Which camera do you use?Do reply
Sreehari
Yeah, I may post some images there as well
I use a Canon EOS 400D
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