The Desert Garden
Great Sand Dunes, Colorado.
Few locations are as spectacular as this. The highest dunes in the country rise 20 miles from the main highway, and rising prominently behind them is the magnificent Sangre de Cristo Range. Hiking the 'trails" is more following the hardest sand to the point you wish to visit; but footprints lead everywhere. To that end, I found myself following tracks down the east side, winding my way back from the high point and crossing Medano Creek to a more established trail leading to our camp at Pinyon Flats. Here, where the mountains meet the sand, are the Escape Dunes. These hills hold the vegetation that thrives on the water source. Just before the trail entered the juniper scrub, I turned to look behind me, and was struck by the small garden of Beavertail cactus, asters, Rabbit Brush and grasses, a last flourish before the starkness beyond.
Nikon F5, Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8, 1/8 sec @ f/16 Fujichrome Velvia 50