A Trip to the Sand Dunes

    Prepare for a long post.  Today was amazing.
    Last night my dad and I decided that we were going to go hiking out at the sand dunes.  So I stayed up till 2 a.m. making these to wear.

    A pair of wrist warmers, as I had none before.  I knew that it would be cold out at the sand dunes, and that they would help keep my hands warm over a thin pair of gloves.  They really did do the trick.
    I put on layers on top of my layers when we got up again this morning and my dad and I set out to the sand dunes.  We jammed out to music in the truck all the way there.
    The air was as frigid as we expected, and I was glad for all of the bundling up I did.  We hiked for hours back and forth over the dunes, got very sandy and very tired, but all the little sights we saw were more than worth it.
    We had just recently gotten some rain and frost in the area, and the moisture from it had stayed in parts of the sand, so when the wind blew the dry sand away, the wet sand stayed behind to create beautiful ridges and patterns that were lit up by the morning sun.

    Many of the photos I took today were abstract ones of these patterns in the sand.  Some might find them repetitive or uninteresting, but I couldn’t get enough of them.

    One of the places we hiked to was a crater that sits in the middle of all the larger dunes, a place where, for some reason, the sand never collects.  On our way there, we came across a barbed wire fence, but we didn’t have to worry about crawling under or over it.  It started out just like any other fence, but then it became engulfed in the dune.

    Looking at it, it made me wonder.  Just how far did the fence go into the dune?  I guess I’ll never know.
    Soon we were looking down at the crater in the dunes.  You can’t tell from the picture because of how far our shadows stretched, but the emptiness of this space was amazing.  To me, the sides of the crater looked like a landscape from a frozen alien planet as we slid down into it.

    I looked back up at our tracks once we were down in the middle of the bowl.  It doesn’t look all that tall in the photo, but that was about 80 feet down the side of the crater.
    We sat down for a snack in all the little rocks that covered the bottom of the crater, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a better place to sit and eat an apple.  You couldn’t beat the view of the sun coming over the edge of the crater.
    Coming back up out of the crater wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it would be because the sand was still frozen, so our feet didn’t sink into it every time we took a step.  I couldn’t help taking one more picture of the side of the crater before we left it.
    One of my favorite parts of going to the sand dunes is seeing the tracks that the animals leave behind in the sand.  I find it strange for some reason how you always see their tracks, but hardly ever the animal itself.  It’s as if there are more ghosts then living animals wandering around ( at least that’s what I like to imagine ).

    A few plants also managed to catch my eye.

    The last thing I took from this place was rocks.  Lots and lots of rocks.  I told myself when we first stepped out of the truck that I was only going to grab a few.  I’m not sure who I was trying to kid.  I ended up walking out with two bulging pockets full of them and a few larger ones weighing my bag down.  It always ends up like that.
    Once back at the truck, we pulled out some sandwiches and sat down at a tired looking little picnic table that was all by itself in the sand.  Sitting there at that little picnic table, with no one around, and nothing but the barren landscape stretching out in front of us, it felt kind of lonely.  Yet somehow it was peaceful instead of sad.
    As you can imagine, that was only a small fraction of the photos that I took today.
    If you’ve made it to the end of this post, then you’ve aged quite a bit since you first started reading it, but hopefully you found it as beautiful and amazing as I did.  The silence and ever changing patterns in the sand emit their own feelings of magic and wonder that I will never stopped being awed by.  It’s the quiet and in-between places like this where I feel most at home.
Em
P.S.  None of these photos are edited, so apologies for them not looking their best.

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