Day 5: All Sand Dunes. All the Time.
Naturally, I had checked the weather several times the week prior. All 60's and 70's. How warm was it on my sole day at the sand dunes? I checked my phone when I woke up: 32. It was actually freezing. I was not the only one at the sand dunes who was displeased. I don't think it went over 45 all day, especially considering the brisk winds.
I settled in to do a few sketches across the Medano Creek from the dunes; I liked the purpley blue reflections on the water! I was also procrastinating since getting to the dunes meant crossing the creek...and it was still really cold.
After those sketches, I decided I didn't go to Ithaca College for four years to NOT take my shoes and socks off and wade through a frozen creek so I could climb the dunes. It was pretty chilly, though! I know at some times of year, the creek dries out, but I'm really glad I got to see it even if it DID mean I had to wade through frigid waters. It was so pretty!
I did this sketch positioned on one of the lower dunes before deciding painting on the dunes was a terrible idea. It was very windy and every few seconds my painting (and my palette!) would get coated in sand. It added some nice texture, but it wasn't a pleasant experience.
Ultimately, I climbed about three quarters of the way up and was exhausted (climbing on sand in a high altitude? YIKES) so I decided I didn't care about seeing over the other side and would prefer to get down and do some other hiking around.
First I found a parking lot where I could do some sketches without the wind!
To the east, you have the dunes and the mountains, but to the west there's just plains and smaller hills and you can see for miles in the distance. This tiny one is showing that!
Afterwards I did a bunch of hiking around, just taking photos. Still too windy for painting!