My odometer read 140 kilometers by the time I parked my car. It was a long drive in the dark and when the sun did show itself over the horizon the push was on to find this spot. The countryside is so calm and verdant this time of year and day that the temptation to stop and snap photos was strong. I had driven all this way for the dunes so I only took a couple of green pictures.
I am not comfortable with cows. They are so big and they always stare. They were my greeting party. One momma cow had twins and I made a large loop around her in case she became protective with a stranger in the pasture. I'm sure she sees a steady stream of strangers all summer long but I wasn't about to take any chances, out here, alone, at six in the morning.
In my excitement to get to the dunes I forgot about changing my shoes. Drat. The pasture grass was dewy and the sand quickly coated the toes of my good walking Geox's. Oh well. The sand is powdery fine and the dune slightly steep. It was a new exercise for me or at least one that I had not done in a long time.
Too bad there are people footprints everywhere. Somehow I thought that by arriving early the wind would have taken care of yesterday's activity.
The park occupies almost 2,000 square kilometers but the birding trail was the only place that parking was allowed. That is enough for today. I will be back and hopefully it will be after a strong wind so I can feel completely alone on these dunes.
Today is a study in texture. Beautiful swirls and waves, curious trackings from insects and small animals and a few hardy plants provided enough to study on my first walk into this amazing landscape.
|The iconic cowboy boot arch watches over the parking lot from a hilltop.|
|A working ranch at the entry to the sand dunes area has an archway bedecked with antelope, deer and moose antlers.|