We blew past this little guy in the middle of the road in Death Valley, and rather than let him be hit by some other vehicle behind us, we turned around, went back, and escorted him well off the road into the desert scrub. We didn’t learn until later that some people – desert researchers – can wait their entire lives to see such a rare sight in Death Valley National Park.
Fortunately, we were quite early and there wasn’t anyone else on the roads with us for many miles – so we were able to take all the photos we wanted, get the tortoise out of danger, and resume our headlong rush down the empty road.
This is going to be my last post for awhile, as I am currently re-evaluating my commitment to posting daily content. Creating a new post for each and every day takes time, precious time for me that would be better spent on other activities for now. Will I return? I honestly don’t know. What I can say for certain is that I simply don’t have the passion for blogging now that I did during prior efforts, and I’ll just leave it at that.
Photo info: Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) Death Valley National Park Death Valley, California October 2016 Eastman Double-X (5222) film Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM lens Leica M3 35mm rangefinder film camera
Authoritative online articles would have you believe that sailing stones can only be found in one of just a handful of places in the world – Little Bonnie Claire Playa in Nevada, Manchego laguna at Altillo Chica in Spain, and – most famously – at Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, California. However, I know for a fact that this premise is false, because I found more sailing stones in Death Valley – and they were many miles away from those at the Racetrack Playa. I’ve also read of them being found many decades ago in the Alaska tundra, and there are even fossil records of them in Connecticut from at least 200 million years ago – so I suspect that they’re far more common than people realize.
As for my scientific find – which has probably been “discovered” by many others as well – I’ll just say that this sailing stone is within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park and leave it at that. It hasn’t been disturbed, no idiots have vandalized it or driven their cars across the track that it has made, and I’d like to leave it that way.
Photo info: Sailing stone Exact position not recorded Death Valley National Park Death Valley, California October 2016 Ilford Pan F Plus 50 film Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM lens Leica M3 35mm film camera