GOLDEN HOUR - GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
In August of 2018 I drove from my home in the San Francisco Bay Area to Colorado. On the way back from visiting with old friends I spent a couple days exploring the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. The park is at an elevation of over 9,000 feet and has the highest elevation sand dunes in North America. The tallest dune rises more than 650 feet from the desert floor.
My goal for the second night was to camp among these giant formations. With a permit in hand and my bag filled with camera and camping gear I started my way into the heart of the sand dunes. As the afternoon turned into evening the light changed to this beautiful golden hue across the land. The shape of the dunes made such interesting subjects that I couldn't stop taking picture after picture.
Although the landscape was beautiful, if you look closely you'll see sand being blown across the top of the nearest sand dune. This part of the scene serves as a lesson about preparing myself and my gear for the elements. With sustained winds of 20+ mph, gusting to 40+ mph the sand found its way into every nook and cranny of my camera, tripod, and bag. Also, in places my skin was not covered, I felt the sting of each grain's impact.
This is a reminder that for every photo posted there is always a story from behind the scenes. Also, a reminder to do your homework before venturing out into the beautiful places in the world. It can be the difference between an enjoyable adventure and something much worse.