#dunes
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four years ago today [2012.11.09]

after waking up in a parking lot, i got on the interstate and headed towards taos.  i was excited to go check out the earthships there.  i had first seen one in a book a number of years ago, shortly after i had moved to chicago i believe.  i had a bit of a drive ahead of me as i was still west of albuquerque.

i stopped at the rio grande gorge bridge just a little west of the earthship visitor center.  there was a nice, unique feeling in the air.. perhaps it was due to being a pretty high elevation, near 7000 ft above sea level, or it was just the energy of the surrounding land.  i went to the earthship visitor center and explored for a little while.  the girl there was nice and offered to show me one of the smaller simple survival models had i been staying around, though i had to get on the road.  had i known i didn't have to go up to chicago until later, i would've been able to take my time on the journey back to florida.  it would've been nice to check out the other earthship and connect with the girl who worked there.  this is another time on the trip where needing to stick to a rigid plan prevented me from being spontaneous and making a new friend.

after leaving, i headed north and saw a couple of rainbows to the east before crossing the colorado border.  i was on my way over to the great sand dunes national park and preserve.. i never knew there were sand dunes in colorado until i found it on the map when i was looking for places to explore in the state.  there was an interesting, unique feeling to colorado.  perhaps it was the high elevation and the low angle of the sun.. i recall the light appearing quite unlike anything else i had seen (perhaps it was that it'd been a long time since i'd been up north in the winter, and this rapid change in light over just a couple days appeared more drastic).

i got to the park where i explored a little bit, got some photos of the dunes and clouds, and saw another rainbow as i was leaving.  i was going to meet a friend who was living in the middle of the state though he ended up being unavailable, so i headed east to continue the journey to florida.
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four years ago today [2012.10.07]

i took the path down onto the beach and drove up to the large dune at cape kiwanda state park this morning. i parked the truck a little bit aways and decided to go hike up it to have a look from there. this was one of those times where i wasn't really thinking or planning, but just continuing to explore while i was there experiencing the beauty of the place. the whole hike ended up being a couple hours and i probably didn't have any water with me. i just kept going further as i saw how much there was to explore. it was really amazing to see the views from the dunes and cape. after being gone for a while, i started to worry a little about my truck.. i had parked away from the water though didn't know if the tides would be rising and how much. i preferred the salt water stay far from it. i didn't have any issues but it was something that crossed my mind after realizing i was gone for a while and didn't know how much longer it'd be 'til i got back (especially as i couldn't see the truck most of the time i was up on the cape). afterwards, i drove north a bit on the beach to the next spot i could get on the road, and found someone stuck in the sand at the exit. i got out of my truck and helped give some direction as to which way to turn the wheel and whether to go forward or backwards, and they got out after a little bit. i then headed south and explored more of the coast on my way to the next campground. one of the parks i wandered through had some nice winding dirt roads through the hill or mountain.. some parts were pretty narrow and i decided to turn around (after having to drive backwards to the closest fork in the road) when i saw the path getting narrower with a log up on both sides of the road. from where i sat, it appeared like the log might rub against the truck and i had already heard some branches scratching against my truck or camper on the way in and didn’t want to risk any more.. luckily there was little to no damage from the branches.
 
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four years ago today [2012.10.09]

i explored a little bit more of the dunes before heading inland.  i saw some vehicles driving up and over the dunes.. it looked like it would've been fun, though i'm not sure if taking my stock truck with the camper up on them would be the best idea (and i had a bit of a drive ahead of me that day).

i was on my way to crater lake national park, and then to california the next day.  i think i had first seen photos of crater lake not too long before taking this trip.. it may have been when i saw someone i knew from a long time ago post a picture on a social network.  it was one of those spots i never realized was there until i researched it after seeing what it looked like in the photo.. it then was on the back burner as a place to check out at some point.

i made it to crater lake with some daylight still left to explore.. at one of the first overlooks, i met a girl who had just decided to drive south from seattle or something with her dog.  we took pictures of each other with the lake in the background and chatted for a minute.. had i been more spontaneous, i could’ve asked if she wanted to explore together or join me for dinner, though i was thinking too much about seeing the park quickly before heading to california the following day.  after seeing some of the overlooks near the lake, i decided to drive all around the whole park and go all the way out to the pinnacles overlook.  it was dark by the time i made it back around.. i found an overlook where i could see a nice view of the lake and wizard island from my truck, and i set up a shot of the stars overnight.  i think it was here that i lost one of the ball heads for a tripod.. it was strange, there was no sign of it anywhere that night or the next morning.  luckily i had more than one and was still able to get a great shot.

[a.k.a. life on the road]