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Chip Carroon • Sandstorm Adventures

Pulling an all-nighter and fighting through hazardous conditions were necessities if Chip Carroon was going to successfully shoot Coloradan sand dunes

It all started when I was ambulance-chasing weather fronts in southern Utah. My planning was good and I was able to capture some great skies at a distinctive yet rarely visited location.

Since I wanted to go to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado next, I thought it would be a good idea if I was there when the front passed that location. I had the bright idea that, if I could drive rapidly, I could get ahead of the front and capture some pictures during the next sunset. Of course, the problems were:
1 The next location was more than 450 miles (720 km) away.
2 I could not leave early due to morning shooting as well as difficulty hiking and driving out of the remote Utah location where I was.
3 It was winter and the days were short.

I did get ahead of the weather front but I could not reach the dune field before dark. The clouds were looking great but I was not quite there, so I spent the night in the border town of Alamosa, Colorado.

During the night I looked up towards the sky and I could see stars. My thought was that if there were no clouds, I would not have a picture. However, after all that effort I had to ...

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