On the Dunes

The wonderful snow I had on arriving in the Guadalupe Mountains mostly melted in 24 hours leaving just patches of snow.  While that was still neat it lacked the beauty of the fresh snow so two days after the snowfall, I decided to go out the sand dunes on the western edge of the park.

The Salt Basin Dunes are pure white gypsum sand, just like at White Sands which is northwest of here about 70 miles across the Otero Mesa.  I knew with the lower elevation it was highly unlikely they had any snow and hoped I would be able to get a nice sunset on the dunes.

The dunes see little visitation, even less than the main parts of the park which is already lightly visited for a National Park.  It is a 45 mile drive  and a mile plus hike to the dunes which also probably keeps people away.  finally the road into the dunes is a clay surface and if it starts raining.......it goes to slop very quick and even 4x4's will struggle to get in (or out).

I went out via Dell City so I could eat at the Spanish Angels Cafe there.  The ladies there make the worlds best Huevos Rancheros.  Seriously.  The Worlds best.  After enjoying the great food I drove out to the dunes.

The road was in good shape and there were a few clouds.  I had hope for a sunset.

I hiked into the dunes and walked along the edge of the dune field looking for compositions.  It was early and I had a lot of time to find the right spot for sunset, so I wanted to check out some other parts of the dunes.

After getting a few images, I wandered deep into the dune field until I found a great section of waves with no foot prints.

I sat up my two tripods and walked around picking out compositions and trying different angles to really use the rippled sand in the image.

I was out there all afternoon.  The whole place to myself.  When it is still there is no sound unless a plane is passing over high above.  No sound.  Absolute quiet.  One could go as far to say the silence if deafening.

Finally the sun began to sink in the west, the light went orange and I photographed the dunes and mountains in the golden light.  I stayed out there until the sun had set and the light had left the clouds.

It was dark by the time I got back to the Element.  I made the slow drive out and then back to camp at Pine Springs in just over an hour.  It was cold and dark and in camp which I had all to myself.

Calling it day I headed to my tent with two days of great images and hopes for more the following day.


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