The Mormon Rocks

A snapshot taken with my iPad

A snapshot taken with my iPad

I came upon the Mormon Rocks as suddenly as one comes upon a storm of sleet. While driving to Palm Springs to stay in a friend's time-share for a week, my map program routed me through the Mojave instead of I-5. Clearly traffic through The 5 was a mess again. As I drove through the Mojave, I found myself so far east that I considered breaking off and spending time at Red Rock Canyon, but thought better of it. 

As I drew closer to Palm Springs I passed through these rocks that looked like they were made of cake icing that had been laid on one layer at a time, the first layer allowed to harden before the second was applied, and so on until finally there were these rocks that almost looked like a pliable liquid, or a tan candy several stories high, ready to shift their shape for any reason. 

I immediately fell in love.

Although I hoped to return to the Mormon Rocks while I was staying at Palm Springs, the weather was hotter than expected, and I did very little shooting. But now I found time to return.

Traffic was worse than I expected (a perennial issue I have), and I arrived later than hoped. I quickly realized that there were two different sets of rocks to explore depending on which side of the street I chose. I went for the smaller group of rocks where there were fewer people. These rocks looked like they were straight out of a science fiction movie, and I wouldn't be surprised if they've they've been in a film or twelve. There was a fairly strong wind blowing which meant that I would need to photograph the rocks, not the greenery, since it was moving. 

My first shots were from ground level, then I began climbing with the Green Monster 8x10 until I ended up on the southern most rock. There the wind was gusting the hardest, and at one point actually started walking the camera and tripod towards the edge of the rock and the 100+ foot drop. With a 14lb camera, a 2.5lb lens, and a 10lb tripod, that's no small feat. Nor was walking back to my car.

I plan on returning soon and photograph where there are more rocks on the other side of the road, hopefully in less wind.