Surrounded By Mountain Ranges
Since 2009 I have had the privilege of visiting Scotland three times. On all three occasions I couldn’t resist the ruggedness of the the West Highlands and the isle of Skye. This doesn’t mean that the east side of Scotland is of little interest, on the contrary, from what I saw on the way back to Edinburgh from Culloden on my last trip I am pretty sure that I will take a trip specially devoted to this region steeped in history and a stunning scenery albeit tame in contrast to the Highlands. My heart lies in the Highlands though. Landscape photographers like myself love the extremities offered by the natural elements, a mandatory ingredient for capturing those special moments and Scotland has these qualities in abundance.
Below Sea Level
The weather is unpredictable not meaning that unpredictable weather is bad as many would presume but due to the rapid changing conditions. Between sunny periods the odd storm can suddenly break out producing some extraordinary light and cloud formations, top ingredients for good pictures. Additionally, a rugged coastline that gets more rugged the further north you drive. Then there are the many Lochs, mountains, castles, solitary trees standing in the middle of nowhere plus numerous derelict farmhouses scattered throughout the lcountryside. These are just a few of the endless photographic possibilities. After a good days hiking a warming Scotch at the local pub with a real coal fire, friendly banter with the locals.
Highlights Of My Trips
The northern end of the Panamint Valley lies in Inyo County, California and stretches from the Panamint Dunes southwards to the Naval Weapons Station China Lake in San Bernardino County. The area is very barren and an ideal training area for military jets from the Nellis and Edwards AFB.
Mesquite Sand Dunes
The Sahara in miniature. Mesquite is to be found in the northern area of Death Valley and is almost totally surrounded by mountain ranges. The dunes are easily accessible from the road and due to this have been used for several movie scenes from the Star Wars series. You have to get here early in the morning if you want pictures without footprints in them ;-)
This little village is a considerably important oasis in this vast area of wilderness. Furnace Creek boasts not only a holiday resort and gas station but also its very own golf course. Yes you have read correctly, a golf course in the middle of Death Valley. Due to this growth the scarce springs have diminished over the past years as have the marshes and wetlands in the area.
Stovepipe Wells is another important stopover point to tank up with Gas and probably more importantly with water and other provisions from the grocery store. Stovepipe has its own hotel, saloon, restaurant, gift shop, ranger station and airport.
Mesquite Sand Dunes
- Photographic Interest 100%
- Weather 90%
- Hospitality 50%
- Sightseeing 100%
- Fun Factor 100%
- Repeat Visit 100%
Can't Wait For The Next Trip
Many don’t risk a visit to Scotland due to the prospect of continuous rain and gales and this is understandable if you are looking to get a sun tan but those of you who do take the plunge braving the elements will be rewarded time and time again with some amazing experiences you can be assured of that. Being regarded as a more than average moist region has other benefits, for instance lush green vegetation, forests, waterfalls and when it does decide to rain then there are some very impressive castles, country manors, museums and tea houses to enjoy, not to forget the larger towns.