This weekend I road tripped out to Great Sand Dunes National
Park. The interns hang out a ton, but for the most part it’s big, mixed groups,
and the guys and I had been missing some quality “guy-time”. We set out Friday
afternoon after work for the 3 hour drive, set the car up with some good tunes,
and stocked up on snacks for the weekend.
As we drove South, we witnessed some of the most
breathtaking landscapes I have seen. Desert towns with scattered trailers and
always a few liquor stores littered the highway as we made our way to the
dunes, and all the while the sun set red all the way across the Western sky.
We got to the park well after dark, and decided to set out
on our hike before making camp. Our goal was the top of the Great Sand Dune,
the highest point in the 25 square miles of Sand Dunes, and we would do it
without flashlights or any formal direction. The hike went on and on, and was
harder than many I have done because when you walk uphill on sand, for every
pace you step up, you slide half of one back down the hill. We made it though,
and something there was very different from any place I have ever been, except
for a cave maybe. When we stood up on top of the dune and gazed around at the
starry sky around us, we heard nothing. And it wasn’t the absence of people or
the absence of cars or white noise; it was the absence of nature. We found ourselves
in the middle of the desert without any animal to howl or leaf to blow, only
ourselves and our thoughts.
My photos will be here soon. But in mean time: