Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer







Friday, November 9, 2012

Largest Sand Dunes in North America~



We love Colorado, and it has several national and state parks. 
Once a former monument park, Great Sand Dunes was recently designated a national park.
It is kind of difficult to get to, but once there, it is really spectacular. 
There were however a couple of unexpected drawbacks.
The first one is that after you finally arrive, you soon realize that just about everything is done by hiking, unless you have an off road type of vehicle of some sort.
My Lincoln Towncar did not at all fit that category.
The second drawback was how thin the air is in Colorado, and with me, having some health issues...it proved to be a bit of a struggle. 
I told the husby, that I was going to take on one of the dunes, which was a good walk from the parking area.  The sand leading up to the dunes was hot, but not too hot, and so I took my shoes off and went barefoot. 
Then I realized that the sand was not moving, like sand on a beach, this was more solid and did not give.  Once I made it closer to the dunes, the sand was more giving. 
I also began to get shortness of breath, and kept telling myself, just get to the base of the first dune and then you can say, you gave it your best try, and that is just what I did. 
*Note here...
I can walk easily, but slowly 3 miles...
To get from the car and back, to the base of the first dune, took 45 minutes.
  Once I reached the car, I began feeling like I could have done better, but, with no more energy, I said I had done my best, and that was good enough.
I was really bummed about something else here too, when I actually saw and was ready to photograph a Kangaroo Rat, when out of no where came a dog on a lead that had gotten away from it's owner and frightened the rat away. 
There are several kinds of insects that live in the dunes area, that are protected, as they are not found anywhere else in the world...of course...I did not see any of those insects.
As we were leaving the dune area, off in the distance, I spotted something large soaring and it turned out to be a lovely immature Red-tailed Hawk...
 I had managed to get some form of wildlife in my day's worth of photographing~
 
 


Just before you enter the 16 mile entrance road to get to the dunes, you view the mountin range above.
Snow and sand... really very interesting this great thing we call nature;')~
Created so perfectly for our enjoyment and watch care of~ 
 
 


 I saw this beautiful Red-tailed Hawk soaring from quite a distance away...as per usual, the images of hawk were taken through the windshield/windscreen...
The husby did stop so many times for me though.  
If I had him stop every time, I saw movement, we would still be gone;')~
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Can you see the people, some were sand surfing, now I would love to have had the energy to do that.
Others walked their dogs, something the brochure suggested you not do...the sand gets hot, and hoping they had water bottles for those pets! 
We all looked like tiny ants...it is really hard to show, just how large these dunes are, a magical place.  
I wish we could have stayed until sunset, but we had a long journey ahead still, to get to our lodging for the evening~
 


Those tiny dark specks are all people, or dogs, a really neat place to visit, if ever you can~

13 comments:

  1. Spectacular and gorgeous photos!! We do not have this here, so it is so fun to see! =) The sand dunes look as silk..
    What a wonderful landscape and mountains also! :)

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  2. What an interesting post! I had no idea about these "dunes"!! Lovely photos, and I believe that would be a very cool place to visit!

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  3. Wonderful shots the Mary, pictures which convey how large, empty but colourful that landscape is. Great captures of the Red-tailed too and i reckon if that hawk is soaring over that seemingly empty space, there must be fiood for it down below. Your car journeys sound like ours - start, stop, start, slow, stop, wind the window down, wait, start etc etc. All good fun when you have a cemera at the ready. Have a great weekend and take it easy.

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  4. the colors are just wonderful. first the blues and yellows and rough terrain, then the soft pinks of the dunes. really lovely.

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  5. What an amazing place Mary. If ever I get back to the US yhis will be on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. So adventurous. The sand dunes remind me of Napoleon Dynamite. :) You are so good at capturing landscapes and the beauty of America.

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  7. Great shots of the red-tailed hawk, Mary.

    I have tried to climb those dunes before. It's not as easy as it looks. ;))

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  8. So very fascinating nature, and so different from my place of the world. The sand dunes looks so inviting and soft - wonderful pictures! And the hawk reminds me of a hawk visiting my little birds, trying to catch dinner...but failing twice. :)

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  9. Wow, your photos are fantastic! I just love that scenery! You had a truly fantastic trip! The hawk shots are beautiful!

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  10. Those are interesting pictures! Its not a part of the world I know anything about - yet another place added to me "to visit" list!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog - I've been in Oman for a week hence slow reply!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

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  11. Well, I don't think that I'm going there, but, you have. Tantalizing effects of the sand dunes. Cheers Mary.

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  12. Stunning, scenic photographs of this especially lovely area! You did a great job of capturing the beauty of the dunes. Such a Pretty Red-tailed Hawk soaring aloft!

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  13. Mary, what a beautiful park to visit. The mountain range is gorgeous. And I love the shots of the hawk. Gorgeous photos!

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