To get there, we have to drive about 45 miles over rough dirt road into the remotest parts of Death Valley.
The dunes in the distance...
Hiking the dunes...
These dunes are not far from a major military airbase, and we had already observed gracefully curving vapour trails in the sky from fighter planes practicing dogfighting and such. The plane nuts in our group wished they could see some of that up close.
Wish granted! An F-18 came in low and as we watched, mouths agape, did a circuit of the dunes, so low that it actually disappeared behind them. When we realized that it was coming around again, we all had the cameras out. PeterK got some great video. The digicams have their limitations, but you can at least see the plane in the next 3 pictures (two of them PeterG's.)
That was loud. One problem with planes going so fast is, you don't hear them until they are almost overhead. So it was out of the blue when, 10 minutes later, another plane flew right over our heads. We burst out of the cars yelling, when another one came along, chasing the first one, and this one was maybe 150ft up. Nobody got a picture of that. It was LOUD!!
I'm sure it's great fun for these pilots to buzz the tourists -- the first one wiggled his wings as he passed overhead -- and these tourits certainly liked it.
One more view of the dunes as we drive away...
And back through the rugged wilderness to the relative civilization of paved roads.
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