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March-April 2015

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Tiny, isolated, and guarded by rugged terrain and limited access routes, the California desert's Racetrack Valley has drawn tremendous interest for decades, due primarily to an incredibly rare natural phenomenon on display there. Those few who attempt the journey travel over 20 miles from paved road to the north of the desert alcove at the head of Racetrack Valley Road, a winding, often “washboard”-surfaced, single-lane trail that traverses stands of animated Joshua trees, grants views into the “bones” of the planet's geology through windows of bare rock slopes, and provides a jostling ride with few, if any, other visitors.

Ed Darack is an independent author and photographer. Visit his website at

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