Morning at the Racetrack

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, May 5, 2011

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I woke up before dawn and drove over to the Racetrack. I wasn't sure when the sun would be high enough to hit the playa and I didn't want to miss it. As it turns out, the mountains to the east block the sun longer than the mountains to the west since the mountains to the east are closer to the playa. The evening is a better time to for photography. It's too bad I was just a bit too late yesterday.

As soon as the sun hit the playa I started rushing around taking pictures. It's really tough to get good ones. One or more idiots have walked around on the playa when it was wet resulting in miles of footprints that seem to always be in your picture. It will probably take decades for the footprints to disappear.  Also, the trails aren't very deep and they only show up well when they're nearly perpendicular to the sun's rays but since the trails go in every direction some of them can't be photographed well even in the morning.

I took pictures until the sun got too high in the sky, which only took about an hour. I then headed toward a camp just outside the western entrance of Yosemite National Park where I'll be going on a mushrooming foray over the weekend with the Mycological Society of San Francisco (MSSF). The shortest route seemed to be to go on some backcountry roads. I wasn't sure just how bad they'd be but I thought my 4Runner would be able to handle them. It turns out I was right.

I eventually left the park and arrived in Lone Pine, CA. I stopped into the ranger station to see if I could pick up my permit for Mt. Whitney. Unfortunately, I can't do that until the day before. I continued driving, eventually stopping for the night in South Lake Tahoe.
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chas on

Well, did you hit any exactas or anything? Who won the feature?

wheresgordon on

I didn't see any horses. Thursday must not be race day.

I did see cattle. I thought national parks were protected but they seem to let people graze cattle in Death Valley National Park.

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