“Death Valley,” wrote Barbara Lazear Ascher several years ago in the New York Times Magazine, “was Creation’s trial run. The ideas were good. The raw materials were in place, though not necessarily in what we've come to regard as the ‘right’ place.” When you’re here, she wrote, you’re back at the beginning of time. “Voluptuous alluvial fans, dips and rises of gravel dumped by flash floods over the last few million years resemble so many attempts to get form just right. You can practically hear Creation's thoughtful ‘Hmmmmm.’ It’s that silent here.” And that beautiful.
Two days after we got married Cheryl and I, we were sleeping in a tent in Death Valley: our own “Hmmmmm.” Being there was like looking through a Hubble Telescope of a different kind, without the scopes. We were back in time. In keeping with today’s theme of death everywhere, but the sublime kind, here are a few pictures from that trip.