As you read this, pause for a moment to take in the sounds around you. Listen to the near sounds, maybe the hum of electronics or a clock ticking. Listen further out, and maybe you hear a car passing or a dog parking.
Now remove all of those sounds so there is absolute silence, as if you are in a vacuum.
That is sunrise at Badwater Basin.
We woke up with a vague plan of we have to get out and see as much as we can before the triple digit heat. We decided to start with a sunrise, so Jim raced Mother Nature driving to Badwater Basin where we set up our bag chairs and tripod.
6:30 a.m. – it’s now 80 degrees in the shade and climbing rapidly.
We sipped coffee at the lowest elevation in the country at 282 feet below sea level. For a few moments we enjoyed the most still and serene place I’ve experienced. It was void of human noise – no cars or airplanes, no voices or footsteps, and void of sounds from nature – no leaves to rustle, no birds or chipmunks.
It was so quiet we both started to notice a ringing in our ears, a stark contrast to the world we live in filled with so much noise pollution.
Badwater Basin is a massive expanse of white made up of almost pure table salt covering an area that used to be a lake. The two-inch average annual rainfall is overwhelmed by a 150-inch annual evaporation rate.
In less than a day we experienced both the highest point in the contiguous U.S. and lowest point in North America.
Temperatures are rising, we have to keep moving…