I’ve often struggled with when to take a photo and when to simply enjoy the moment, as photography is always about preserving things for a future time. Minutes before coming upon this view of the sunset along California Highway 178, east of Ridgecrest, I had just enjoyed an amazing dance of twilight-tinged clouds over the Searles Lake bed. High winds had caused the minerals of the dry lake to swoop up in fantastic violet-gray plumes that reached up towards the soft shell pink clouds in the desert sky behind. There I wrestled with the question of whether to stop and pull out my camera or just relax and enjoy the drive. I chose the latter, but when I left the Searles Valley, I was greeted by the sight of this spectacular sunset that stopped me in my tracks. The flame red brushstrokes are a product of high winds, nearly weightless mineral salts and the magic of that time of day.