Rhyolite, Death Valley

On the northeastern edge of Death Valley is an abandoned ore mining town called Rhyolite. The weathered old ruins, some still standing, are breathtakingly beautiful. Rhyolite was a thriving town at the beginning of the last century. It declined as soon as the ore was depleted. At its peak, the town hosted several thousand residents. Now it’s a ghost town with rusting cars and crumbling, abandoned buildings.

I like the structure of this crumbling building. Rhyolite is a study in the sad beauty of decay. Decrepit buildings crumble and wilt against the stark desert background. Man-made structures weather like the nearby ashy bushes that struggle in the arid climate. The environment is harsh for urban and plant growth alike. It’s a perfect setting for photography. I went a little nuts taking photos.

I am glad the crumbling buildings haven’t been dismantled. Dusty and weathered, they are perfect accompaniments to the dry desert environment and are reminders of our fragile existence. Without a constant influx of resources and water, a town becomes a dry husk. These buildings are an elegant reminder of mortality. The ruins complement the harshness of the Death Valley environment perfectly.

Posted in response to the photo challenges Structure and Weathered. Read more travel stories here.

Rhyolite, Death Valley, crumbling ruins

Aguereberry Point, Death Valley

Aguereberry Point, Death Valley selfie!

Aguereberry Point, Death Valley

The road to Aguereberry Point (elevation 6433 feet) is really scary. However the view from the top is great. It’s also proof that Death Valley isn’t always hot. In February it was wicked cold! There was snow, even. Snow. In Death Valley! Look at me. With a scarf! Freezing my butt off, for the selfie! Down at the floor of the valley it was as hot as you expected, and there were wildflowers all over.

Aguereberry Point, Death Valley