Wasn’t a stroll in the park
DAY 1 - SUNSET OVER KELSO DUNES
Sunset over Kelso Dunes
When I made it to Mojave National Preserve, the first stop was Kelso Dunes Field. I had always wanted to stand in the middle of the sea of sand dunes.
Just like Death Valley, driving from Point A to B felt like forever even after entering the preserve limit. Probably in part because I was not familiar with the place, but also probably because they were physically quite apart.
Once I made it to the trailhead, I grabbed my camera gear and started walking toward the highest dune on which I laid my eyes. It seemed as though the entire field may have been visited by only two or three people at most in the entire late afternoon. To my surprise though, about 100 yards left to the top, I spotted a foot trail. It was disappearing fast in the winds.
From trudging across Mesquite Flats Dunes in Death Valley, I had known that walking up and down these sand dunes wasn’t a stroll in the park. And here the dunes were higher and larger. My feet sank and slid into the ever-eroding sands on each step. As huffing and puffing, I was making two small steps to move upward a foot.
When I finally reached the top, the sun had already dropped to just above the mountains in the west. I had to act fast. I studied the slopes of the dune, planted my tripod as safely as I could without it sinking into the sands and started composing a shot.
Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, CA
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H Peter Ji © 2019