Sunday, April 24, 2011

In Which I Become Heather of Arabia

A few months ago J randomly read an article on the internet about Singing Dunes - sand dunes that make noises as the wind blows them.  They're really rare - there are only two dozen or so places in the world where they exist - the conditions have to be really specific - certain humidity, conditions of the sand, size of the sand, etc.  One place where those conditions come together perfectly are the Kelso Dunes in The Middle of Nowhere, SoCal.  You drive up the 15 to Barstow, then pick up the 40, go 70 miles west, and turn off to the north, drive down a dirt road for five miles, and then hike for three miles.

When J first heard about them, it became a Thing Between Us because it was August, I was preggo, and I thought that the fact that he thought I could do something like that while preggo meant he was insensitive and not very thoughtful.  I milked it as a martyr for several weeks.  

So anyway, we're looking for new fun things to do, and decided to head out there yesterday. 

Oh my God, it was seriously hard core.  I did not think I was going to make it to the top.  The highest dune is 700 feet high.  That's like a 70 story building.  But the kicker is, you hike for over two miles in the sand.  You know, like, the stuff that you sink into, and then falls away as you try to climb up.  Can you imagine climbing a 70 story building, over the course of 2 and a half miles, in the desert, in the hot sun, in the sand?  Man, it was tough.  We had to take breaks every 100 to 200 steps.  Well, I did.  J could have done it easily, I'm sure.  But he patiently waited while I took a break, and even made shade for me with his shirt.  Awww, bless.

I tried walking in footsteps that were already there thinking it would make it easier.

I know it's hard to see, but there are people sliding down the main dune - they look like little ants!  Sooo steep.
But the reward for getting to the top is that you can slide down the dunes on your butt, and make them sing.  They make this pulsing vibrating noise that's kind of a cross between a jet engine and whale sounds.  It was so strange.  The whole dune-mountain vibrates with it.  Nuts!

But man, I'm SORE today.  Not just sore, but pretty much exhausted.  We spent the day cooking an Easter turkey and taking turkey-induced naps.  The weather was pretty crappy - cold, wet, rainy, foggy - so it kind of felt like Thanksgiving, only falling asleep to baseball instead of football, and eating lemon-meringue pie instead of pumpkin pie.  

This whole Doing New Things experiment is such fun.  It's almost giving me enough to think about so that I don't dwell on the card we got from the hospital sending us their thoughts on the 6-month anniversary of losing our baby boy.  Which, when I opened it in the post office the other day, made me break down and cry.  Right there at the high tables next to the giant recycling bin.  

Sigh.  Two steps forward, one step back.  Onward and upward.  

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