Great Sand Dunes NP, Colorado, USA by Dee Hunnisett-Dritz

Picture Story

There's a place in the high elevation desert of the San Luis Valley in Colorado, where the sounds of humans fade to nothing, where the sun beats down and the sand reflects the heat, where all one can hear is the sound of shifting sand in the wind...the wind that shapes the desert dunes into something unique for that one particular moment before the sand flow changes it forever - And just occasionally, at the right time of the year along comes some cloud.

Perspective is everything. First impressions are that the sand dunes are not very high but once you walk out to the base it is easy to see that these are the tallest sand dunes in North America. The dune field is vast. Initially I wanted to see what was over the top of the dunes but hiking sand can be very challenging and exhausting. It was easy to see the storm clouds coming in and they cemented the decision not to hike beyond a few ridges. The wind blows consistently and the sand grains whip exposed skin. Not wanting to get caught in the weather I waited it out in the dry valley at the base of the dunes. Disappointment rolled in with the weather - until this image unfolded.

While my visual senses are in awe of the stunning landscapes that form here, the sound of silence forms around you like a vacuum.

To be a photographer, to just sit and watch this image form before you, is something very profound, peaceful and quite special. Go out and explore ...you never know what you will find.

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