Tuesday, September 4, 2012

15 in 17 - part four (Great Sand Dunes)

For those that have been following (or trying to), I clearly fell off the wagon with this one.  But between spotty internet, no internet (I camped several nights), and keeping up with the hundreds or even thousands of pictures taken each day, I never stood a chance.  Not to mention the pure exhaustion.  Eventually I gave up on trying to catch up and even now, a week after I'm in Washington, I'm still not even half-way through the 15,000 pictures I took.

But allow me to continue where I left off....  After Hot Springs I took a day off to visit some friends, the wonderful Michelle and Vincent Villafranca in northern Texas.  Michelle does some great work with the National Park Service and Vince is a talented SF/F sculptor (who just won a Chesley!!!).

It was here that I got to see my first scorpion (it came in and died and the kitchen) as well as my first Black Widow.  Actually several of them... Vince keeps an eye on their numerous nests scattered around their yard.

After that I was off to Colorado.  The Great Sands were, well, great!!  A very unique place.  The sand is leftover from ancient lakes and stuck in place because of the neighboring mountain range.  Beyond them is a huge plain and a second set of mountains behind that.  I got thunderstorms the whole time, so while it made for great photos and time lapses, I decided it was too dangerous to climb the 700 foot dunes.

The size of the dunes is incredible.  I'd point out the specks resembling people in the photo above except they're too small to see.

It POURED that night, my first in a tent on the trip, but it was worth it for the fantastic sunrise the next morning.

Here's a time lapse:

This was from a separate shoot.  Running the camera, while protecting it from rain isn't easy.  Luckily Fran was able to help by support the umbrella with her a door.

Next up, Mesa Verde!