Where do you go when you want to see the sand dunes? The Middle East or Africa? I thought so. But did you know, you can hike one in North America? True, in the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado; where the highest sand dunes in the continent are.
I have a thing for the desert; because of the quietness, nothingness and because of the mysterious sand dunes. The image of a desert; series of camel footprint on the orange colored sand in the sunset, gave me a chill when I think of it. The time and effort of nature, to create this magnificent mountain of sands, that’s just simply amazing. I thought I have to wait until I cross to another continent. But finally, before I hit the Middle East, I climbed one of the tallest sand dunes in the American continent.
Nature’s wonder; that’s what it was. Surrounding mountains and the stream made this happen. It was starting to forming 440,000 years ago, and now it’s standing tall. When we were driving toward the National Park, we could see the dunes from afar. A thin brown glare on the ground. With the mountains in the background, it did look like an unreal thing. But it is, still forming and moving. It’s alive. The Great Sand Dunes are the living proof of evolution; insects, plants, and animals evolve themselves in years after years to become more suitable for the harsh environment.
We camped at the national park with the view of the dunes and hiked up the next morning. The sunset over the dunes was absolutely amazing. Because it’s near the monsoon season, the sky was wild with all the clouds and that made the sunset more dramatic. The highest dune is 750 feet, but that hike was HARD! Because it’s all sand, every step I took was sliding off from the hill. Eventually, I had to crawl to the top. However, the best part was sliding down the hill. Rolling, sliding, running and swimming in the sand was great. I felt like I became Scrooge McDuck swimming in the gold.
Certainly, it was one of the most memorable sites I’ve ever visited in North America.