This photo is a tribute Cath Barton’s cover photo “Eleven” of Prime Number Magazine‘s Issue 11 that also features my essay “Waiting in the Dark.” I was about to take a picture of my shadow on the Salt Flats at Badwater in Death Valley when my daughter walked up and, as our shadows aligned, I was reminded of Barton’s picture.

Driving into Death Valley from the east on SR190 at sunrise – about 5:45 a.m.

Going lower..
Badwater Pond – salty rather than poisonous as it is fed by water leaking from an aquifer that picks up minerals before it pools at this lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (282 feet below sea level). Rare snails live here.
View of the Salt Flats at Badwater
I kept touching the salt as it looked moist but it’s not. Only snow and ice come close to those crystal formations.
My son watches the shade recede as the sun rises over the mountain.
Powerwashing the visitor parking lot at Badwater – obviously fresh water isn’t that much of a luxury, even in Death Valley.
Devil’s Golf Course where, at 6:30 in the morning, a hot wind already whistles in the spires of the eroded rock salt.
Artist’s Drive where rocks are splashed in pink, verdigris, yellow and lavender, thanks to mineral deposits.