Thursday, January 24, 2013


I'm a greenery kind of girl. Hiking in the forest or running around in the green grass is what gives me energy. You know that scene in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice when Elizabeth Bennett has that amazing moment (accompanied by amazing music) on top of that craggy English hillside? That's how exploring outdoor green landscapes in the wild makes me feel.

There's one exception to this, though, and I only realized it the other day: sand dunes, preferably endless expanses of them. We've been to the Empty Quarter twice, but this time we stayed close to home and drove out to the huge swath of dunes near Al-Biyatha. On Saturday, we explored the area doing reconnaissance for a good campsite, and last night we camped there with 28 (by my count) of our closest friends (32 total people including our family).

The effect was more pronounced on Saturday, but even yesterday and today there was something so liberating about running around in huge sand dunes. I felt like a kid again. What's more, I felt energy in the natural world, with hardly a green tree or blade of grass in sight. I've missed that feeling since we moved here. What is it about a huge (HUGE) pile of sand that makes me so giddy?


  1. Thanks for always spear heading such great adventures. It was 32 total by my count.

  2. Hmm, including us I get 31. I wonder who I'm forgetting? I thought of the ages of the kids (as of Feb 3 to make it easier) and I came up with 0, 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7, 8, 9, 12, and 12. Seeing it that way, I can't believe any of us got any sleep.

    (Since writing the above, I've realized who I'm forgetting. I'll change it!)

  3. The open expanse of possibility..the glorious contrast between the orange sand and the blue sky...natural light, and dark skies at night...lots out there to refresh and giddify the soul.

    Is camping in the sand a lot grittier than camping in the forest? I was going to ask how you manage things like staking out an awning, but then I remembered that it's the 21st century and you probably use things like easy-up awnings that don't need much staking...unless there's a you can see I am using way too many ellipses today AND I have no desert camping skills.

  4. Our tent has a fly and yes, it needs to be staked. We often have trouble staking the fly because it's soft sand (or impenetrable rock in the mountains), but the sand here was substantial enough to hold the stake. If not, you just use heavy rocks and wind the fly loops around that. Yes, it is gritter - the sand gets everywhere. That's the major downside of camping in sand dunes.

  5. Dunes are fun! We have some up here by Michigan lake but it's grass land, forested area, dunes, than a giant lake that feels like the ocean...or my own personal version of heaven :)

    1. Crys... I feel like we must be neighbors. And I'm guessing, based on our mutual love of Bridget, that we could easily be bestest friends. Anyways, if you're anywhere near the greater South Bend area, we should hang. :)

  6. Great pictures. It's still amazing to me that places like this exist outside of movies and desktop backgrounds.


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