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A Drive in the Country - The Great Sand Hills

Rising at three in the morning wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated. I have been waiting for this day since I moved to southwest Saskatchewan five years ago. I have seen so many pictures of The Great Sand Hills but I want my own. The golden hour, that hour after the sun rises or before it sets, is the only time to photograph sand dunes.

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.

Most of the time I wasn't completely alone. Small and large herds of antelope grazed hardly noticing my presence. A doe with darling twins was less trusting. Hawks, foxes and songbirds kept me company. I only met one truck out in the dunes, a local. He stopped to be sure I was finding things all right.
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.


  1. I don't know what happened to your comments Deana and Margie. It was very meditative at that time of day. Lovely crisp morning that quickly turned to 24C in a couple of hours, just as one would expect in a desert.

  2. Wow, great pictures and an amazing place!


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