Eureka Dunes, Death Valley NP, USA by Patrick Mueller

Picture Story

Towering at 680 feet, the main set of Eureka dunes are the big draw; they're also the easiest to access and therefore crisscrossed with footprints. But somewhat forgotten are the 2 miles of significantly smaller dunes that trail out the back, towards the surrounding mountains. On this chilling 26 degree November morning, I set out on foot to capture morning light grace these smaller, but more interesting towers of sand. Careful to avoid the shallow burrows of kangaroo rats, which can easily collapse when stepped on, the walk was slow going. Upon looking up from my trudging, I was struck by the pureness of the distant dunes contrasted with the dark mountains and busy foreground. I explored for a short time before nestling my tripod in the sand, ultimately choosing this frame with the nearly evenly spaced line of shrubs. 1.3 seconds later I continued my trek and enjoyed nearly 5 hours alone and in wonder, amongst these untouched desert waves.

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