The soft sounds of the blowing sand are often the only noises heard from the spectacular, relatively new adobe and wooden beams Visitor Center
or out on the dunes
or watching "sand snakes"
or just taking it all in. Thirty square miles of dunes up to 750 feet tall is a lot to ponder. . .
and can be exhausting.
Maizie is loving soaking up the sunshine as she takes this "Advice from a Sand Dune" very seriously.
LiDAR (Light detection and Ranging) mapping of the San Luis Valley in 2011 (which includes the Great Sand Dunes) shows that the volume of sand is 1.5 cubic miles or 6.5 billion cubic meters (minus at least a cupful in my clothes, shoes, and camping gear). The San Luis Valley is the size of Connecticut, USA.
LiDAR has also accurately mapped Star Dune at 750 feet, five dunes over 700 feet, and 37 dunes over 600 feet tall. LiDAR was responsible for mapping the Crestone Crater, a bowl-shaped depression about 100 meters (300 feet) across. The "crater" is of unknown origin but could be akin to the 5 makhteshim in Israel (thanks, SuperZee!) which are erosional cirques and not true craters of volcanic or meterorite origin.
The earworms of "I am a Rock" and "Loves me Like a Rock" played often at the dunes
as did "Kodachrome"
We drove less than a mile past the "Point of No Return" point on the Medano Back Country Road (Medano is Spanish for sand dune and is pronounced MED-a-no). Paul Simon's "Slip Sliding Away" was particularly apt and played long after that afternoon's adventure. Even with tire pressure lowered to 20 psi, it is quite a ride. . .
This deer did not appear to have experienced "A Bridge over Troubled Water."
We certainly did not have any troubled water as we were "Homeward Bound" after swimming in and camping near local hot springs:
Do you have a favorite Paul Simon song connected to a National Park memory?
Yes, we are duned!