A Trip to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes… May 4th 2016

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Folks? Anybody a #StarWars fan here? Hello? Are you out there? Because I didn’t know if you knew that #TheTravelingMac is a rabid fan! Lol!

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Well, I have something special for you today… Yes, it’s #SandDunes and they are known to be the backdrop of #LukeSkywalker’s home planet called #Tatooine in the original “Star Wars” film… Along with other locations in #DeathValley…

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Actually since Death Valley is only a few hours from #Hollywood, a lot of films have been shot out here… Do you remember the abduction scene of #R2D2 by the #Jawas from the original “Star Wars?” Yep… you guessed it… Shot in Death Valley… Also the opening scene for #TwilightZone-TheMovie…” And many more famous classics and modern films…

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Well, these sand dunes are literally right next to #StovepipeWellsVillage… you can walk to them… So I grabbed a couple of my new band members/co-workers/fellow students and we went to see what all of the hoopla is about…

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It’s funny how you feel like you have entered a different world just by entering this smaller area… It’s like you left Death Valley and entered what you originally perceived the desert to look and feel like… Which is a haven of sand and not a lick of water… I never imagined the desert as a kid to be so rocky, beautiful and intricate… I thought it was all vast, bland piles of yellow sand… You know, like the movie #Dune…

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Dustin was obsessed with the #clay that was literally everywhere there wasn’t piles of #sand… This part of the ground used to be an #AncientLakebed… that’s why if you peel a piece of it’s rock off you can rub it’s dust all over your skin, creating a smooth, soothing layer… It’s almost like natures natural exfoliant and sunscreen… and all of those idiots who are spending hundreds at the local spa when they can get the crap out here for free!!! Hello?

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The sand dunes were pretty miraculous… Especially the large one which is captured above us here… I found it funny how hard it was to take a picture of what I actually saw… I know the iPhone isn’t a professional camera but I just couldn’t seem to capture the massiveness, vastness of it all… Every picture I took seemed to diminish the overall size and feel of these dunes…

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The #MesquiteSandDunes are considered a #NaturalPhenomenon… They sit in the middle of these mountains, hills and valleys that provide the perfect alignment which channels winds to help trap and collect sand… this helps create theses miraculous formations… Scientists from across the world come out here to study it’s patterns and it’s #wildlife… And the sand dune’s landscape changes from day to day…

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Just think about that… Basically your landscape changes out here on a daily basis… Maybe not enough for the naked eye to notice but when we have one of Death Valley’s two day #SandStorms, you definitely notice a significant change… So #TheMillenniumFalcon’s backyard is different everyday… I find that to be pretty special…

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I really liked taking pictures of our footprints in the sand… I know it seems cliche these days with all of the spiritual books and cards displaying similar images yet even with that knowledge, I became a child once again, taking pictures of footprints in sand… lol! But I’m glad I did because I now realize the footprints are the one thing that actually show the size of these dunes and how deceptive they are…

Now, these are not the largest dunes in Death Valley… They are the most popular to visit because of their accessibility… The main Dune only reaches about ten feet in height where other dunes in Death Valley can get as tall as 60 feet high…

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It’s a funny feeling out here… It’s dry yet you feel like you should be hearing waves crashing in the distance… It’s hot yet you don’t seem to sweat… I can understand why these sand dunes have taken so many casualties in the past…

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When you look at the main sand dune, you naturally have the urge to hike out to it and it looks like it’s minutes away… But it’s dangerously deceptive… It’s really a mile away and this is why the Mesquite Sand Dunes have taken lives in the past and is one of the main reasons Stovepipe Wells Village still exists today…

I can completely understand why people under estimate these dunes… You feel hot yet you’re not sweating, so naturally you don’t feel as thirsty… Then you look at the main Sand Dune and you think, “Well, that’s not too far and we don’t need to bring much water…” Well, when you decide to hike what is actually a mile in soft, resistant sand, going up steep hills in above 100 degree weather with minimal water… that’s a recipe for disaster and NPS had to do something about it…

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You see, this type of thing happens all of the time at most of America’s #NationalParks because tourists have this crazy misconceived notion that since they can visit these remote areas in our nation’s National Parks, that automatically makes them safe… Well they couldn’t be more wrong… So the NPS transformed Stovepipe Wells into a stop for information, where you can get some sleep and something to eat, hopefully cutting down on these senseless tragedies…

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Well, it worked by cutting down on casualties drastically but there are still ones who don’t listen and decide to hike to the large dune with little or no water at all… I don’t think I have to finish this story because I think we can all figure out what happens next…

I know I have said it before but there’s a reason this park is called Death Valley folks! I don’t understand why anyone would under estimate such a serious sounding nomenclature… I bet if there was a strange place in your town with the name Death in it, you would think twice about entering it… yet the most powerful force in our world carries such a name and for some reason we foolishly under estimate her…

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Well me and my new buddies know better and we took the proper provisions… With no worry, we had quite the work out hiking these dunes while enjoying the deafening, soothing silence… This place is perfect for meditation! Immediately my mind drifted to places it doesn’t go to regularly… I thought about how small we really are in this massive world and just how small this world is in this massive universe… It’s humbling yet gives you a sense of spiritual power which is too complicated to explain…

I couldn’t help thinking about how massive these sand dunes are and how our tiny footprints were just another day in the cycle of millions and millions of creatures visiting this area throughout millions and millions of years that date back to moments in time when these sand dunes didn’t exist and the whole area was engulfed in water…  To think of the many, many different creatures that have lived, passed through or even gone extinct out here over the millions of years, blows my mind… It makes our everyday lives filled with politics, work and family seem so small and insignificant…

We are just another tiny moment in the cycle of this crazy, massive earth and universe… The footprints we left would soon blow away, leaving no evidence of our visit as the Mesquite Sand Dunes continues it’s much larger and longer existence on this planet, ready to accept its many future visitors as Mother Nature dictates its natural existence… The footprint cliches never get boring, do they? LOL!

Well, I have something special for you today… Yes, it’s sand dunes and they are known to be the backdrop of Luke’s home planet called “

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