“And yet day and night meet fleetingly at twilight and dawn,” he said, lowering his voice again and narrowing his eyes and moving his head a quarter of an inch closer to hers. “And their merging sometimes affords the beholder the most enchanted moments of all the twenty four hours. A sunrise or sunset can be ablaze with brilliance and arouse all the passion, all the yearning, in the soul of the beholder.”
― Mary Balogh, A Summer to Remember
At a distance Badwater Basin is a frothy ocean – a great white shining expanse. As you get closer, it starts to resemble snow. When you finally start walking on the flats, it is more like crunchy sand. That’s when you really realize that you’re walking on a 200 square-mile lake bed of salt.
Here, salt crystals expand, pushing a crust into rough, chaotic forms. Newly formed crystals ooze between mud cracks, sketching strange patterns on the surface of the salt flat. Passing rainstorms wash off windblown dust and generate a fresh layer of blinding white salt. Floods create temporary lakes that dissolve salts back into solution, starting the process all over again.
(Notice also the remnants of the previous day’s dust storm still lingering in the sky.)
It wasn’t what I expected or hoped for. I wanted five days of sunshine and renewal in the desert. Instead, I descended to Death Valley in a storm. The wind whipped my tent fly and pushed fine desert dust through the mesh walls. In minutes, clothing, skin, hair and sleeping bag were a gritty, matte grey-brown.
I turned my gaze toward Furnace Creek. It wasn’t far to seek refuge. A cold beer in the bar would at least wash the sand from my mouth.
Slowly, one foot in front of the other, back turned to the wind, I made my way to the oasis. A quick glance upward to get my bearings. And this. The beauty in suffering. If only we take a moment to look for it.
Last weekend I took my dad and husband to the Palouse for a photo field trip. In addition to taking hundreds (if not thousands) of images, we visited the official waterfall of Washington, learned the origin of the term steptoe, and ate our weight in hotel waffles.
The slideshow below includes some of the best photos I took. I can’t wait to see what my dad and Nick created! Click the little arrow at the bottom right of the slideshow to embiggen.
We had such a fun whirlwind romance in West Yellowstone in November. Over the next few months, we savored sweet, stolen kisses in the Methow. My knees became weak with a silly school girl crush.
Yes, I knew our time was limited, but I thought we still had another month together. Then BOOM! You up and disappeared on me.
Your early departure surprises me a little. It feels like I just tipped a teacup back for one last sweet swig only to find nothing there. Or like I got to the top of a staircase, expecting one more step, then found at the last second that one doesn’t exist, and fell suddenly in a chunky, misfit over-step onto the next floor.
Spring has stepped up to fill your shoes rather quickly – an eager suitor that is all too happy to shine a light on your failures. She put on her best dress and a shocking shade of lipstick.
Even though you are gone, I’m reserving a small space in my heart for when we meet again.