GREAT SAND DUNES

FALL EQUINOX 15
















Reaching into my daypack to find out i am only 2 mouthfuls of water from running dry. Being in the middle of a large dune field at the height of a hot day, a cloud of concern sets in.

Sure, i can hike 2 hours back to camp where the rest of my water supply is. But there won’t be enough: i seem to have vastly underestimated my hydration needs on this trip. Or i can traverse the remaining of the dune field and hope water will be found in the folds of the bordering mountains ― a hazardous proposition at the end of summer. I haven’t got a map but from my vantage point at the summit of a tall dune, those trees in the distance hint that — as the crow fly — it won't that far.

No crows are flying in this desert however and i am wrong anyway: it is no small hike getting there. And once there, there is still no water. So i keep walking a narrow strip between dunes and mountains ― praying for good fortune. And good fortune i eventually get in a lush green gulley reaching to the very edge of the dunes...looking like an image-perfect oasis...and sure feeling like one: rarely has the sound of bubbling water been so sweet to the ears!

Drinking in as much as humanly possible, with water pack filled i begin the several hours hike back to camp. It is now late in the day ― good for water retention ― and some of that dune maze will have to be navigated in the dark of the new moon. Don’t just rely on your gps they say...