Thursday, October 3, 2019

Rust Never Sleeps

Even in the desert, the land of little rain and near-zero humidity, rust never sleeps. Rusty decomposition is slower here, but it still occurs.

Case in point: Joshua Tree National Park's mysterious "Car Wash". It's not on any map, and doubtful that your average park ranger is aware of it, and even more doubtful that the location would be shared if per chance they were aware. But it exists. Basically a bunch of cars that appear to have been swept into a remote wash during a flash flood. What were the cars doing in this middle-of-nowhere location? Who did they belong to? These are questions I can't answer, and I haven't been able to find anyone who can. I can tell you it's more than 10 miles to the nearest paved road. Just sand and creosote for as far as the eye can see.

I was in this area a while back, on a ridiculously hot summer night, hoping to capture some shots of the Milky Way. My MW shots were a dismal failure, but I did get some decent shots of the old rusty "Car Wash" cars just before dark. As I was editing my shots, it occurred to me that they look good in b&w, and perhaps deserve their own post. So, without further chit chat...




Hello, old friend!





Technically, photos # 8 & 9 are not in the "Car Wash", but they are in the same general area, so I included them. I'm hoping the b&w edits help convey some of the gritty and remote feeling you get when visiting this lonely and seldom seen area within Joshua Tree National Park's Pinto Basin.

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!!

44 comments:

  1. They are very moody in black & white. Someone has to know how those cars got there. Although, that someone may no longer be living.

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  2. Great photos, which are very impressive in b/w! The gecko is a good contrast to the sanded cars!

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  3. Dam good photo, the B&W does them justice. Cars left like that here in the UK really rust away

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  4. Time does claim them. I wonder what the lizard thinks of them.

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  5. Beautiful shots. B&W is perfect!

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  6. I wish all of them cars would end up in some hot rod shop to restore them. Very nice photography! As usual.

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  7. I love rusty bits, someone could do their magic and rehab these into something beautiful

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  8. It's better to burn out, than to fade away.......

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  9. Wow, the earth is sure littered with man's trash, isn't it. Be sure to say Hi to Lilly.

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  10. Yes, it does give the grit and the remote! If you live in the city and have the latter B & W in the weekend, you should be okay, but do you ever think I'm not doing this anymore - too lonely? Or? The Black and whites are regal!

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  11. Yes, they look great in black and white!

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  12. Excellent choice-- Even the lizard looks quite handsome in B&W. The cars and trucks appear to be mostly from the early 50's except for the very first picture's grill and the older truck which is represented only by the cab-- no bed, no hood. Your blog is always an adventure.

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  13. When I read your heading I thought of a album by Neil Young. Beautiful photos even it's carwreks. The lizzard was cute.
    Happy weekend!

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  14. Too much waste. Drop it somewhere in a really remote area and nobody cares, but now we know better I hope.

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  15. Black and white does capture the starkness of many of the photos, and it was a good choice. Another great choice of photos. Personally, I don't dabble in B&W enough (read this as "not since I was a kid and it was a matter of money with film and developing costs vs. color")

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  16. Interesting sight. You are right about the B&W. It enhances the mystery even more.

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  17. Not my favourite Neil album, but you've collected a fine album of photos anyway. They look fantastic in B/W too.

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  18. Nice Touch With Black & White - Really Dig These Shots - Love Joshua Tree As Well

    Cheers

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  19. You're right...great in black and white... (waving to Mr Lizard

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  20. Wow, incredible !
    Stunning photos, b&w works well.

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  21. Incredible shots and they look absolutely great in b&w.
    It's amazing what you find in the middle of nowhere.

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  22. Just a little cosmetic work and they would be like new. :-)

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  23. Great work. I too love the black and white !

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  24. I like these black and whites. Everything goes back into the earth it seems.

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  25. Impressive! The black and white edits do help.
    Happy weekend, Peter!

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  26. I am wondering how those cars or scraps got there in the first place. Your are right, rust do not sleep. Happy weekend!

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  27. Great pics. Seems like a car graveyard in the middle of no where.

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  28. I love a good mystery like this. Complete with photos!

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  29. What a find and one wonders why they were there. Some of my wife's family in western Oklahoma drive their old cars right into a wash, been doing it for years and now they call it their "car collection" without any sense of irony at all. By now they have a bunch of cars going back decades and it doesn't look good at all.

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  30. Peter,

    You did a remarkable job on this photo set. It would be interesting to learn the story of how those cars came to rest there in the dessert but one might imagine there could've been a flash flood that carried them to their final resting place. I think my favorite pictures is the 6th one from the top. Truly a great jo!

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  31. The B&W shots are excellent and does lend itself well with old cars and such. Wondering........
    MB

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  32. There’s some mysteries out there for sure and this has to be one of the eeriest! Yes, the monochrome does impart the vast and lonely feeling very well. ... .... and speaking of vastness, I’m not sure how long you’ve had that amazing header , but for some reason today I really focused on it ..it is beyond perfect for the way I think of Joshua Tree and you exploring it all alone!

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  33. Those black and white shots are absolutely amazing! I love black & white photography!

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  34. You put them in a very interesting way, they have something inadequate to say, there is not a word, while the words are in our mind what they are doing here and we do not find the answer.
    The message through the image is received by the recipients otherwise you don't see it, photos interesting look cool black and white.

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  35. Looks like a gangster gathering that went terribly wrong. Maybe this is where Jimmy Hoffa is truly buried. Good call to cast these shots in black and white - it brings out the remoteness of the locale, in my mind. All we need now is some tumbleweed rolling past.

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  36. What a thing to find in the middle of desolate place in the park! It makes me so curious how all those cars got there- I like the -perhaps an old road traveled through. The cars look to be from the 30's early 40's? I like the B&W

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