Thursday, December 31, 2009

Over down over there.

We headed SW outta town over the last long weekend. There wasn't really a plan per se, we just wanted to see something new.

The gear pile in the back of the E consisted of two snow bikes, two pairs of snowshoes and poles, ample bootage and gloveage, synthetic and realthetic layers, various photographic armature (manuals, batteries, and chargers), and 4 dog booties.

The snow depth was such that we found a bit too much unconsolidated and drifted for any kind of enjoyable riding, but not enough for 'shoeing. So we hiked.




It's a refreshing change to be afoot these days. I'm obsessed with learning the coarse basics of a new camera, and with that focus (<-snort!) getting on/off/on the bike can be more of a hindrance.

Did I just write that?


The force which created this landscape is still happening--to such an extent on this day that even in direct sunlight and with balmy 30 degree temps we remained bundled throughout.




The wind here is as stubborn as it is unselective, mixing and tumbling sand and snow any way it sees fit. We spent the day mesmerized and engaged with combinations of the two we'd never heard of, seen, nor imagined.




Mrs. Balloon Hands was equally engaged in photogeekery, so progress across the dunes was not fast. The upshot? Immersion in them couldn't have been much more intensive.






We never knew what we'd find underfoot next. Snow? Sand? Yes, sure, but in what form? What mixture? Frozen? Semi-thawed? Meringue was most common, but even that was never predictable.






...a dash of powdered sugar atop a *thick* layer of brown...




Master of all he surveys.










Low angled sun and colorful, textured landscape did all of the heavy lifting for us, photographically speaking. Point the camera and squeeze the shutter and you'd come away with something interesting and memorable. The only challenge was keeping your trigger finger warm.




I've wanted to ride my snowbike here since I first heard of the place a decade or so ago. Having seen it afoot removed most (all?) of the need to ride it. Far smaller and more limited than expected. That, and covering ground here is a good way to miss it.

I wonder how many other places that rule applies to? (!)






Desert? Alpine?

Yup.


The Mrs. and I soaked it in while trying to figure it out. Fang enjoyed it at brain-stem level.




We weren't completely alone out there.


Future shuttle monkeys in the making, I guess.

Of course you need a motor to go sledding--how else ya gonna get back up the hill?

Sheesh.







Later, Mrs. Balloon Hands decided to express herself creatively.


Is it me, or does she seem fixated?




At some point we felt like we'd seen enough.


Or, maybe it was that we had no more heat to give to the wind? Regardless, we extracted ourselves.


But not before experiencing something new. I can never seem to get enough of that.

Cheers,

MC