Marble Canyon; Dunes; Kern River

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M has a photo project that involves portraits and masks, so we spent a lot of time eyeing other tourists, and really, who in Death valley isn’t wearing a mask? Sunglasses or a hat or a camera.

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Here is a view of a dune.

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We drove back along the Kern River, which is perhaps the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. M might have better pictures, because I was driving. (I stopped to inspect some wildflowers at this point.)

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We were thrilled to see vegetation again, even dry California vegetation. As the river goes on it forms a canyon full of big boulders and trees that were just beginning to leaf out. It was lovely.

Sadly, though, the river seems to disappear where the canyon ends and Bakersfield begins. Apparently the river used to spread out in a series of seasonal lakes (see Wikipedia) but now a lot of it gets diverted along the way, and once you leave the canyon the river itself just disappears — sucked into an irrigation pipe, I think, and water for the city of Bakersfield.

Most people would probably agree that the city of Bakersfield would be vastly improved by being leveled to make way for a seasonal lake.

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