“It often seemed incredible to me, especially when I was on foot and conscious of the steps I was taking that we could cover such enormous distances going at this pace. Sometimes I counted my footsteps to a bush or to some other mark, and this number seemed but a trifle deducted from the sum that lay ahead of us. Yet I had no desire to travel faster. In this way there was time to notice things—a grasshopper under a bush, a dead swallow on the ground, the tracks of a hare, a bird’s nest, the shape and colour of ripples on the sand, the bloom of tiny seedlings pushing through the soil. There was time to collect a plant or look at a rock. The very slowness of the march diminished its monotony. I thought how terribly boring it would be to rush about this country in a car.”
— Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands
to celebrate the passing of my latest actuarial exam, i drove down to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and spent the weekend soaking up nature. i had been to the park when i was a kid, but all i remember from that trip was wind. the weather was more cooperative this time around, with highs in the mid 50s, clear skies, and just a slight breeze. if you’re planning on going to the park, it seems like late October is a pretty good time…the tourist population was pretty manageable, the weather was perfect (none of that 140 degree sand you get in the summer), and there were still some remnants of Fall colors in the Sangre de Cristos surrounding the dunes.
for more on this location, check out my post on LocationScout.