My friend Rajan Parrikar’s recent photo shoot in the Mojave Desert. He calls it Light and Shadow at the Trona Pinnacles.. “During a recent visit to Death Valley in California’s Mojave Desert, I overnighted in the desert town of Ridgecrest to shoot at the nearby Trona Pinnacles. This atmospheric locale has served as a setting for several well-known sci-fi movies and commercials. The basin with its Trona Pinnacles, the adjacent Searles Lake salt pan serviced by an unlikely railroad, and flanked by the Slate Range to the east and the Argus Mountains to the west, evokes an ambience that is at once enchanting, eerie, and alien.”
That brought to mind my visits to Death Valley. One winter night we had camped in the Valley. Whenever I hear the 10,000 Maniacs song “The Painted Desert,” the line “The stars were so many there, they seemed to overlap,” always reminds me of that still, moonless, cold night. Once I passed through the Mojave Desert on my way to the Grand Canyon in the summer. It was so hot that you can die within a couple of hours if you don’t have shelter.
I am hoping to go back there on my Great American Road Trip 2010. (A couple of spots still open for that one!)
“I wanted to be there by May at the latest time
isn’t that the plan we had or have you changed your mind?
I haven’t read a word from you since Pheonix or Tucson
April is over, will you tell me how long
before I can be there?”