Alvord Desert at sunrise

Alvord Desert is a playa, an ephemeral lake, at the eastern foot of Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. Most of the time it's dry and cracked like in this photo, but after some rainy seasons it can be flooded with water. The presence of these dry lake beds throughout much of southern Oregon speaks to a time when the climate was wetter and these valleys were filled with water.

I spent a nearly sleepless night camped alone on the side of Alvord Desert before taking this photo at sunrise. It was hot and buggy and I was too lazy to put up my tent. After finally pitching my tent, around 2AM in the dark, I could escape the insects and quickly fell asleep.

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