This story is 100% true.
As many of you know I have strived to head to The Racetrack in Death Valley for many years but have been thwarted by many obstacles. So even though I was repeatedly told NOT to go to the Racetrack with anything less than a 4x4 with 2 spare tires, I took my trusty Toyota Corolla rental car on the 55 mile journey anyway.
I got to the beginning of the Racetrack road at 9:30am after waking up before sunrise at 5am to shoot Badwater at sunrise. I started down the road just to test it out, and then began to pray to either give me a clear sign not to continue, or with a forced sense of patience, let me average under 10mph and make it to my destination. I prayed the ENTIRE way, because I was scared. $2,000 to tow me out if I get stuck. I had really work on my patience as I was leaning over my steering wheel navigating sharp rocks, washboard road and other obstacles. I prayed to allow me to see these mysterious rocks so I could somehow return the favor and glorify Him. Not really sure what that meant at the time.
Inside me I knew with the beautiful white puffy clouds that finding the rocks with my camera and wide angle lens and filters that I very well could potentially take some of my best photos ever. I’m not sure if it was the rocks and Racetrack I was interested in, or just to make the journey there.
27 miles and 3 ½ hours later averaging 6.4mph, I made it to the Racetrack which I previously documented my extreme pleasure in arriving there. I shot the rocks, but because of the excitement and lack of real research, did not find the rocks which really had the great dragged lines behind them. I shot the rocks I could see on the south-west area of the lakebed, and then went back to my car and read some James and Acts. Thought if I were to really connect with God, this would be the best place for absolutely no distractions and nothing else around except His wonderful creations.
Before I left, I though… how cool would it be to just put my Bible on the Racetrack and shoot it. It was windy, so the pages kept flipping around. I must have shot 20+ shots, but they were all bad because the pages were mid-flip, or the horizon was off, or one thing or another. Finally I got this shot. One shot that pretty much captured what I wanted. And I was happy. So I left. But now, I have another 27 miles of 6.4mph to get out, with just as much danger. Prayed the entire way and when I made it to the paved road… did a LOT of thanking Him. Either way, it was a religious experience because if nothing else, because I felt that God was on my side. He wanted me to be there, but I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t really even see the best rocks of the Racetrack, but felt perhaps my Bible shot would be my favorite shot instead.
I printed out a small print and showed it to a guy I worked with and told him the story behind it. Immediately he said, “What Chapter and Verse is that page on!?”. I dunno, the wind was flapping the pages so fast, I have NO idea. So I went back to the hotel and zoomed in and it was the end of Mark 1 and the beginning of Mark 2. So, Mark 2 says – Jesus heals a paralyzed man. Nothing. Told him, Sorry, there is nothing significant about the page randomly stopping and me getting my only good shot of it.
A couple days later I re-looked at the shot and wondered, “What was on the very top of the first page… the end of Mark 1? I re-opened my bible and read the first complete verse on that page:
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. (Mark 1:35)
I never got such goosebumps before in my life. He talked to me. I just wanted to share it with everyone.
Anyway, I have had quite a few requests for this photo, but am still trying to figure out what to do about it. I created a posted with the verse at the bottom, which I would be happy to share. I’m also considering selling prints of this with the proceeds going to either Death Valley National Park, or perhaps a conservatorship. Not sure. Any suggestions? I don’t want the money, I’m just thankful I was able to see it and make it out alive. And now I feel real alive.