Saturday, February 25, 2012

Photo Essay: Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley



Sometimes I find how much I've changed in the last few years absolutely staggering.

In 2006, I stood atop Mt. Baldy at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan City, Indiana, watching friends toss themselves down to the bottom, log-rolling and somersaulting with laughter and screams. I observed, bemused. But I did not participate.

In 2008, I drove my way through Death Valley, sightseeing from my car, occasionally jumping out to snap a photo off the side of the road. As the sun was setting, late the afternoon of my arrival, I passed the Mesquite Dunes and, instead of climbing them (as one is allowed, and as I had time to do), I merely documented them, and kept moving.

Later that year, during a camel ride in the Sahara Desert, I stood by and snapped photos while Michelle got dragged up and down the dunes by our camel guide, "Berber Ski"-style. I declined.



This time, back in Death Valley, passing the Mesquite Dunes, I got out of the car for more than just a moment.



This time, I followed in the footsteps of many other travelers before me.



This time, I kept climbing until I met a single track of footsteps.



This time, I sat atop a dune and slid my way down...





...and, with the waning light of day, was greeted by reminders that where I now stood was once underwater.



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