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Conquering Devil’s Golf Course

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

One of my favorite sites in Death Valley is the Devil’s Golf Course. According to Wikipedia, it got it name from this quote in the 1934 National Park Service guide to Death valley:

Only the devil could play golf on its surface, due to a rough texture from the large halite salt crystal formations.

Whenever I stand in the Devil's parking lot and look out over the salt crystals, I imagine the distress and disappointment that a wagon train scout would experience upon arriving here. The surface is too rough for wagons, horses, and people. It is possible to wend one’s way through the salt formations, but the edges are sharp. One fall could result in the need for stitches.

I never sought to conquer Devil’s Golf Course by playing golf or walking across it. But I have wanted to capture an image that could impart, in some way, the beauty of this area. I decided that I needed to bring a prop, and that a longhorn skull might look great. My friend Janice happened to have a longhorn skull hanging around and kindly lent it to me. So yes, I hauled this skull almost 500 miles, but I really like the result. Thank you Janice!

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