Bob Howard is describing for us the two major types of playas. The surface of the one we are standing on at the south end of Panamint Valley is soft because the water table is near the surface. This type of playa can easily trap the unsuspecting adventurer who ventures out on it. The recently uplifted front of the Panamint Range is on the right, with one of its alluvial fans creeping out onto the playa surface. The Argus Range is in the background.