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Thread: Flower bloom in Death valley

  1. #1

    Flower bloom in Death valley

    Apparently, it's quite amazing. May take a trip down this Sat and coming back Tuesday. Any recommendations besides: lots of water, do not drive off-road, and keep the film cool?

    Probably will be doing it with my daughter.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/sc...uperbloom.html

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    Richard,

    I was in DV a couple of weeks ago and the flowers were nice then. I think I left DV on Feb. 6th or 7th. At the time, temps were very mild, maybe 60's during the day. Nights were cool and wonderful. Not sure you would necessarily need anything special to keep the film cool. I tried a few different times to photograph the flowers with my 8x10. Managed to take a couple of shots, but the wind will drive you nuts. Here was a quick grab shot with my iPad. It was certainly wonderful to see and I wish you luck trying to photograph them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg  

  3. #3

    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    Strong wind?! So is a Hasselblad medium format better since I can use larger aperture and faster shutter?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    I lived near Death Valley for 10 years before moving here to NH. The desert flower blooms were a sight to behold...If you have the opportunity to see them please take it. But I do not miss the swarms of insects which would come soon after to feast!
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    Richard: I don't know where you are located. I was there 2 weeks ago and the best (and maybe only) blooms were in the south, past Badwater, near Ashford Mills. If you're coming from the north, it's a trek, but you're not "doubling back. The road into the park, west from Shoshone, is closed. From Southern California, this is much easier access to the Ashford Mill area...

    The bloom should move south to north, so there might be some nice stuff this weekend.

    The NPS daily report that lists all this is here:
    http://www.nps.gov/deva/upload/Morning-Report.pdf

    and the NPS wildflower report, updated sporadically, is here:
    http://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/nature...pdate-2016.htm

  6. #6

    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    Mike, I am from the San Jose area, so driving down to Bakersfield and go from there. Have never been to DV, so definitely staying on paved roads etc. Appreciate any recommendations on best routes. Also would like to make it to Race Track if possible. On the way out, may be up to Big Pine just for a brief detour before heading back down to Bakersfield and home. I don't think I want to go all the way up to Tahoe and cross that way to go home.

  7. #7
    lab black
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    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    The road out to the Race Track is a difficult one in that there is quite a bit of shale which can and will puncture even the sturdiest of off road tires. In addition, the forbidding washboard road creates tremendous vibration which is hard on equipment.
    "We work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have."
    Henry James

  8. #8

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    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    Quote Originally Posted by richardman View Post
    Strong wind?! So is a Hasselblad medium format better since I can use larger aperture and faster shutter?

    Thanks!
    Richard,

    Oh, I think it can be done with large format, it just might take time and patience. As was mentioned, when I was there, the flowers were about 50 miles south of the Furnace Creek area. If the flowers move north, it would make it easier to access them if you are staying in the campgrounds. Also, the road had been closed at Badwater due to rain and slides when I was there around Feb. 6.

    As to the Racetrack, it is one bone jarring ride as mentioned. It is certainly interesting to experience.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    There are sites dedicated to SoCal wildflower enthusiasts with regular updates on Death Valley among other places, along with road conditions. March is always
    a challenge there due to wind, which whips up quite a bit of fine clay dust too, requiring extra precaution to keep your film and gear clean.

  10. #10

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    Re: Flower bloom in Death valley

    Quote Originally Posted by richardman View Post
    Mike, I am from the San Jose area, so driving down to Bakersfield and go from there. Have never been to DV, so definitely staying on paved roads etc. Appreciate any recommendations on best routes. Also would like to make it to Race Track if possible. On the way out, may be up to Big Pine just for a brief detour before heading back down to Bakersfield and home. I don't think I want to go all the way up to Tahoe and cross that way to go home.
    I've only been into DV twice, once through Ridgecrest, the other through the (now) closed road through Shoshone. I have, however, made numerous trips throughout the Owens Valley and Mojave Desert areas. I'm planning on heading to DV again this Sunday.

    Once you get to Mojave and head north on SR 14, you can head northeast through Ridgecrest, or go up SR 14 to US 395, then continue north to Olancha, where you pick up SR 190. If you go through Ridgecrest, you want to stay on SR14 until you get to SR178 EAST... SR 178 west is a mile or 2 before the 178 east turnoff... The road through Ridgecrest might be a little shorter, but there's a 2 or 3 mile stretch beyond Trona that was washed out and is now a very-well-maintained gravel road (35 MPH easy...).

    The road through Ridgecrest is "all desert:" not much to see or photograph, except for a very large soda-ash plant that's probably better B&W than color. US 395 up through Lone Pine has more potential, but I rarely shoot anything south of Lone Pine. I'm thinking right now, that the snow levels in the southern Sierra are high, and sparse. However, I'm not nearly as creative as others on this forum...

    As far as heading back up to Big Pine, I have no experience with the road inside DV that heads there. Gas inside the Park is scarce and expensive. You want to completely top off in either Ridgecrest or Lone Pine. If you top off in Lone Pine, there's only 2 or 3 stations and the prices aren't good. In Ridgecrest there's a Fastrip at 345 South China Lake Blvd. with great prices. If you are headed up through Lone Pine, the Loves, at the "furthest east" Tehachapi exit, is good. Also the Loves at the Lost Hills exit off I5, and, if you come over SR58 from I5 into Bakersfield, there's a Costco on the north side just before you get to SR99. Bakersfield is usually the cheapest gas south of the Sacramento/Modesto area.

    I'm assuming you are headed down I5? Rather than take SR 58 east into Bakersfield, you might want to continue another 20 minutes or so south on I5 to the SR 223 exit and head east... This will take you across SR99, past Arvin, into some foothills where there can be numerous wildflowers. I was through there last week, and it looked like it might have a lot of potential right about now. SR 223 will take you to SR 58, where you can head east into Mojave.

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