Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sand dances

I know I said Scotty's Castle would be the next one up, but it will be a long-ish post and I can't count on the internet to be available for the time it will take to write it. I've been told that when the Christmas crowd goes home this weekend the internet will be back to normal, and do I have my fingers crossed! This is the first park we've been to where connectivity has been an issue. At Petrified Forest I whinged long enough that the Museum Association installed a booster that took the signal from the Post Office and tossed it out to me, but even before that, I could get decent wifi at the Post Office or Visitor Center. At the North Rim, there was great wifi at the Administration building but at the house we had to install satellite internet which was as slow as it was expensive. At Andersonville and Tumacácori we did fine with our own hotspot. But here? Pffftttt.

Instead of Scotty's Castle, I want to show three photos from the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. HH and I went looking for them with a map the other day and whoa! they were where they were supposed to be. We probably looked right at them the first time we drove their way, but missed them altogether because of the blowing sand. 

Saturday was a gorgeous day and the crowds that hog the internet met us at the dunes. Many people, us included, think desert=sand, but less than 1% of Death Valley is covered in sand.

 I think this is my favorite photo of this park so far.

The park's website says these dunes (there are four others listed on the website) are just 100 feet high but cover a vast area, without saying just how much that is. You can get an inkling, though, by seeing how insignificant the people are in these photos. The photo above in particular, taken from a distance, shows someone as a speck near the bottom of the sunlit curve at the far right.

This is an ever-changing show. The wind that comes through this valley constantly resculpts the lines and smooths the footprints. I read somewhere that seeing them by moonlight is a different experience, and I do believe there's a full moon rising.


Thought of the day:

They dined on mince, and slices of quince, 

Which they ate with a runcible spoon; 
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, 
They danced by the light of the moon. 

- Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat