One of several dune fields within Death Valley National Park, the Mesquite Flat dunes owe their existence to the local terrain which slow the winds in the area so that they drop their cargo of sand. To the south rise the Tucki Mountains. To the east rise the Grapevine and Funeral Mountains. The main source of sand for the dunes is thought to come from the Cottonwood Mountains to the north and northwest.
An ancient lake bed underlies all the dunes and shows in some places between dunes. Creosote and mesquite create havens for wildlife. The largest dune, Star dune (shown here), rises 140 feet above sea level and is formed at the convergence of several prevailing winds in the valley. In addition to star shaped dunes, the field contains crescent and linear dunes as well.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.