Salt Spires Mud Cracks Midvalley but no salt pools

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Death Valley Dazed
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Salt Spires Mud Cracks Midvalley but no salt pools

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:55 pm

In response to the other thread highlighting Steve Hall's search for salt pools around the Devil's Golf area I decided to search for more of these fascinating anomalies north of the golf course where the West Side Road crosses the Salt Creek. Due to the lateness of the day, the gusty wind making that delicate dance on top of salt spikes and spires an even more dangerous proposition I stuck closer to the north and south sides of the road.

Not being exactly sure where Salt Creek cuts under the West Side Road I drove too far west and caught the stream bed from the runoff from below Aquereberry Point where some jackasses left their donut spin tracks in the muddy salt flats. This may be boring to most folks but I loved every second of it and relish some of the sunset lighted images I scored. A fantasy of mine is meander the Salt Creek from it's beginning south of The Devil's Cornfield all the way to Badwater. The surprises and mysteries awaiting are surely there.

For example, I've been curious as to how Artist Palette Wash with its yellow clay and mud intersects and interacts with Salt Creek. Well, the salt flats of Midvalley and the crusty shores of Salt Creek absorb all of that clay and water like a sponge. The variation in drainage, mud cracks, and debris on the hike out were fascinating. The evidence of a wash quickly disappeared a few hundred yards into the salt flats well before reaching what I imagined was the Salt Creek stream bed. I had to turn back because the dry hot wind was exhausting my water supply and it was getting dark with the sun hiding behind the Panamints.

Here's the video description of what I enjoyed as another spontaneous adventure in the park. I chose not to add labels or captions for fear of cluttering up the simple beauty of the day. However, I'm open to feedback from you folks who may be familiar and also unfamiliar with the area as to whether captions of explanation would add to the viewing experience.

In late afternoon 125 degrees heat with wind gusting to 45 MPH, explore three locations where the West Side Road intersects Salt Creek. First is near where West Side Road turns south, second is where Salt Creek runs under the road and third is where Artist Palette washes cross Bad Water Road down into Salt Creek. The steady hot wind made stable video shots difficult but the sun setting light was delicious on the longest day of the year, Thursday, June 21, 2018.

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wbdeford
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Re: Salt Spires Mud Cracks Midvalley but no salt pools

Post by wbdeford » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:32 am

What's it like in the wind at 125 degrees? I've been there at 120, but not windy. I imagine the heat would be almost unbearable in the wind.

Those pipes.....are they there to save the road from floods? (You may have answered that in the video, but i was watching without sound)

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Salt Spires Mud Cracks Midvalley but no salt pools

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:58 pm

That stiff wind at 125 degrees was scary as the stinging of the lips and nostrils is amplified by the "wind chill effect" being reversed to "wind burn effect." Without copious amounts of water, a person would be reduced to beef jerky within hours so I had heaps of water in the car just in case of a breakdown.

Those two culverts allow Salt Creek to run under West Side Road. If a huge downpour occurred locally those fairly small culverts might not prevent a washout. My hunch is that the playa absorbs huge amounts of water before saturation and flooding occur.

When cooler weather prevails I hope to go seeking more salt pools like Steve Hall describes.
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