After we left Death Valley (it's hard to believe we arrived there a week ago tonight!), we happened to pass a group of formations called the Trona Pinnacles. I've seen these surreal forms before in pictures, in at least one car commercial and in one of the "Star Trek" movies (I believe it was #5--"The Final Frontier," where Kirk and Spock encounter "God" who needs a starship). So when we could see these forms from the highway and we saw the road to them was about seven miles (11km), I decided to overcome my anathema to dirt roads (we and our truck hadn't recovered yet from our trip to the Racetrack) and make a quick drive to the Pinnacles.
A little TOO quick -- most of the dirt road was do-able, but we crossed one badly-eroded rut in the road that sent all of our stuff airborne and gave us quite a jolt. (Dirt roads ... bah ... humbug!!!) But we soon arrived at an overlook where we at least saw the Pinnacles from a high point. I would have liked to continue down the road where we'd be at the Pinnacles' base (as is the SUV in the photo), but we simply couldn't handle any more dirt road than what we HAD to negotiate to get out of there. Besides, clouds were rolling in, and the Pinnacles were already under a cloud's shadow while the distant hills were still sunlit.
Oh, well. Maybe another time, when the Trona Pinnacles will be the FIRST leg of the trip.