Adjacent Extremes
cc licensed (BY) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Yesterday, within a few hours driving, I went from seeing the highest elevation in the lower 48 states, My Whitney (14,505 feet) to standing at the lowest surface elevation, Badwater Basin in Death Valley (-282 feet).

These two points are about 100 miles distant on a map, from glacial above tree line alpine to desert (It was not today, but in 1989 that I stood at the top of Whitney

How do I measure up to such extremes? Life will tell.

This is for today’s ds106 Daily Create – "Merge two photos of contrasting place together"


I stretched the Death Valley to try and align the ridge lines, and the foreground scenes.

This trip was necessary for some reasons not needed to blog about, but ended up being just shy of 2000 miles of travel in 6 days- almost the distance to drive across the US.

I did get to hang out one night with my longest running friendship, my high school friend Kevin who was in Palo Alto for a meeting. We try not to sound like nostalgic old guys.

I also got to pay a return to visit to Zaxk (@noiseprofessor) itself a coming blog post on bringing him the StoryBox he built for me and gave me in May, and also time spent learning about circuit bending. As he says… “Rad”.

The trip back was returning too to places I had been before- I stayed overnight in Bishop, California. I traveled out that way many times when i was doing field work for MS theses in Geology on the drab plateau north of town. I had never stayed in town, had always camped in that valley between the 14000ers of the Sierra Nevada on the west and the White Mountains on the east. The last trip Dominoe spent a week with me in the field (well, she slept all day in the truck while I hiked miles picking up rock samples).

I had also driven through Death Valley a few times, one memorable time in June when it was 105°F at 5:30am.

It was one of my early trips crossing Death Valley when I snapped a 35mm photo of my 73 Ford Maverick next to the sign that says “Sea Level” which ultimately turned into one of my amazing stories of sharing when a German rock band asked to use it on the cover of their CD.

Funny that yesterday I thought I would return to the sign and do a new photo with my current vehicle– I got mixed up and thought the sign was down near Badwater, but later recalled it was one of the signs in crossing the Valley farther north.

In the end, you can go back to memorable places, you can understand how much it stays the same; and appreciate how ironic that you can change so much and not at all in the same being.

Adjacently extreme!

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Jeez, Alan, have you ever heard airplanes? You are a drivin’ fool!
    I can hardly wait to find out more about the StoryBox. I found out about it after it had closed at the end of 2011.
    Great use of the juxto prompt!

  2. Yeah I have heard of your new fangled flyin’ machines, Sandy…. I could not find an airline that would allow me to carry furniture, 12 boxes, a bicycle, a rocking chair on board. I had a bunch of stuff to transport.

    And while plane travel is necessary, it is so much at the wrong place of life- I would have only seen the places I stood from a remote cold distance. Its worth it to go at a slower pace if you can (and I wish mine were much slower).

    There is a future online place and stuff that can be done with the StoryBox. I am hoping to start work on it as soon as I can put all this stuff away.

  3. So “I hear you saying” no Lear Jet? You know, Lane Community College has a company jet we are all free to use :) jest kiddin’.

    I agree about the pace of existence. And about the value of road trips to center us spiritually in the scope of geography and geology and time and weather…I had just such a trip last September to Haida G’waii (Queen Charlotte Islands). The sheer distance and difficulty of getting there the long way demonstrated the isolation of the Haida people and the courage of their epic crossings to the mainland.

    Like that…

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