Great Sand Dunes



Reaching into my daypack i find 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 my water supply is. But that still won’t be enough: i have vastly underestimated my hydration needs on this trip. Or i can traverse what remains of the dune field and hope water can 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 (the summit of a tall dune) those trees in the distance shouldn't be that far ― as the crow fly.

But no crows flies in this desert and i am wrong anyway: it is no small hike getting there. And once there i find no water. So i keep walking a narrow strip between dunes and mountains ― hoping for good fortune. Good fortune i eventually find in a lush green hidden gulley ― a postcard oasis nested at the edge of the dune field.

Rarely has bubbling water soundest so sweet to the ears!

Drinking as much as humanly possible and with water pack filled i start on the several hours walk back to camp. It is now late in the day and some of that dune maze will have to be navigated in the dark. Don’t exclusively rely on your gps, they say?