This was taken towards the end of the first full day in Death Valley. It had been extremely windy the night before and was still pretty breezy that morning. That might not sound ideal but it sure cleans up all the footprints on the dunes. These are quite close to a road and get a lot of foot traffic, so it is quite rare to get to photograph them without foot prints criss-crossing all over them. I like this particular shot because of how the cloud formations and shadows in the mountain are echoing some of the cracks in the mud. The shape and slope of the dune is also reflected in some of the deep cracks in the mud and the low angled late evening light warms and defines the deep splits in the dried mud. On this trip I realised that the dunes run diagonally along side the road - previously I've parked at the closest point and slogged up and down over smaller dunes to get into the middle of the field. Doing some scouting ahead of this trip on Goggle Earth I was able to see that if I stopped down the road, actually further away from the dunes, I could walk in along the ridges of the dunes. That made for a much easier time! I had to walk maybe a mile but it was over flat, hard packed mud, rather than hiking over the dune fields. It also let me find these great mud deposits that were a lot more expansive and thicker than I'd seen before. This time I approached from the upwind side, so sand hadn't really covered the mud and also I think this side is where the prevailing mud flows come from, so there was a much larger expanse pushing up against and no doubt being stopped by the dune field. The Google Earth scouting via satellite and road maps was really useful on this trip. I was able to mark specific way points then upload them to my GPS. Certainly helped me find my way around on the various small dirt roads and tracks that I got to investigate on this trip.