Monday, August 27, 2012

K Ka-Boom at Kelso Sand Dunes

Nature has its special way of always bringing out the child in us. There is just so much to experience in our natural world. On our way home from Utah during our last thanksgiving trip, my husband asked if there is another sand dune we will pass along the way that we have not seen yet. Hmmm, sand dunes again? There is just something with the sand that draws us into it, it may be the inspiring artistical ripples wonderfully carved by the wind, or it may be the complexity of how it was formed, or it may just simply be enjoying the different gifts and the many faces of our wonderful world.
Me @ Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, California
Leaving at about 8:00 am in Utah, we were supposed to get home at San Diego by 2:00 pm. It seems we would have enough time if we stop over another park along the way. After passing Las Vegas and entering the NV-CA border, I searched our GPS for directions to Mojave National Preserve. Thankfully, the GPS did not have a hard time locating the preserve, and as soon as we entered the park, we searched again our GPS for directions to Kelso Dunes.
Kelso Sand Dunes from Afar and Joshua Trees, Mojave National Preserve, California
This turned out to be a wonderful and joyful detour. On our way to Kelso Sand Dunes, we passed by a Joshua tree forest, mixed with cholla cactus, and from afar, we could see the sand dunes and the excitement was growing as we were getting closer and closer to the sand dune's trailhead.

Kelso Dunes ( from the base )
Kelso Sand Dunes is about 600+ ft in height, the 3rd tallest sand dune in US. The hike to the peak of the dune was about 1.5+ mile. From the trailhead, we followed a well maintained trail through desert scrub, and on reaching the base of the dune, anyone is free to make his own trail and go in any direction to the top. At the base of the dune, we saw a family on their way back to the trailhead, but the kids were showing signs of not having enough fun since they still keep on sliding down and rolling whenever they see a slope :)
Kids Not Having Enough Fun with the Sand, Still Sliding even at the base of the dune :)

On the way up was a little bit of struggle, it was one step up, 1/2 step down! We get buried in the sand, and the loose sand slides us back. Can be frustrating when one would think of "but I have to go up the top faster"! But can be fun and enjoying when one focuses on the beauty around while climbing up the dune.

Kelso Sand Dunes from the base
Lady With Umbrella at Kelso Dunes
Family Preparing to Sled Down the Sand Dune
At the top, the view around was amazing. It is different and not something we often see, though looks barren and devoid of vegetation, but kind of stretches our imagination if we are still in the same planet.
Vast Field from the top of Kelso Dunes
However, if going up the dune was a little bit of a struggle,

going down is simply FUN and AMAZING.
Going Down the Dune
Hearing the Sound of Music Sliding down the Sand
Coming down straight from the face of the dune, the sand generates a rumble that can be heard, the deeper we sink into the sand and the longer we slide, the louder is the ka-boom sound! It was my first time to hear a "ka-boom, ka-boom, ka-boom" sound. The sands groaned and rumbled in our every step. And if we would slide together, the sound waves generated became louder and followed a rhythm, like music that BOOMS!
Our Booming Footprints on the Sand
Going down, the child in me was awakened, and there was that desire to go back up again and slide down again! No wonder why the kids I saw close to the trailhead were showing signs of not having enough sand and was still sliding and rolling down despite they were already at the base. No wonder why some family and kids would go up and down, up and down, because of the simple joy of hearing a different kind of music!

Family Having Fun Up and Down the Sand

Going Back Up After Going Down

The Only Way to Hear the Sound Again is to Go Back Up and Slide Down Again

The Joy of Climbing
Not all desert sand dunes produce a booming sound. There are not that many sand dunes in the world that are reported to produce a BOOMing sound. For more about the singing sand dunes, their occurence and the science behind, please visit the site "The Singing Sand Dunes".
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  1. To follow your trip always bring excitement to me. You have explored such a terrific place and enjoyed yourself so much.

    The photos are the records of your happiness and the proud of the Kelso Sand Dunes.

    Can't resist from dreaming this place!!!

  2. wow so beuatiful..and I feel like you really had fun in the sand...

    thnkas for sharing..

  3. Your pictures are beautiful and joyful! I've never been to sand dunes before and I didn't know about the "singing" ones. Kelso Sand Dunes looks like a fun place to visit, thanks for the info. :)

  4. You're back with fantastic photos and story to tell. I always love to tag along your adventures.

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..

  5. This is truely incredible journey. I have always dreamed of going to a sand dune/desert to photograph similar views

  6. Oh my... How I love those photos Betchai, they are gorgeous! Its been awhile since the last time I visited here, so I missed your fantastic photos!

    I love those footprints and most of all the photos of Kelso Sand Dunes!

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comments you left in our blog. Hope you enjoy the christmas season!

    Debbie :)

  7. an awesome experience. merry Xmas to you n yr family

  8. Betchai, these dunes are spectacular. Each shot is exciting in it's own way. Just amazing!

  9. I've never experienced a sand dune. You make it sound so fun. Now I hope I can see one some day. I think they have them on the west side of my state.

  10. Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season and amazing 2010!

    Happy Holidays from livelife365

  11. It doesn't look like you are in America, Betchai. More like those middle east country or egypt. Looks like you having much fun there :)

  12. that looks like so much fun!

  13. betchai I think there is just something almost mystical about the dunes. They always tell a story of wind, and water, and that is just cool.

  14. Hi Bets, your photos are just so inviting and you have the perfect trip planning and the unexpected side trip. These dunes are so beautiful. That looks so much fun making tracks, and the lady with the umbrella made me smile. Your photos capture the real essence of the beauty of nature.
    P.S. I am still sick and barking like a dog, that even my kitty gets scared. I think this is the end result of the accident.
    I hope to get back to the normal flow the beginning of the year.
    May you and your family have the merriest Christmas!

  15. what an adventure! I'd love to slide down there, teehee.

  16. Oh Betchai... after seeing those photos, I realized that this is your version of snowshoeing, snowboarding and sledding MINUS the snow... and the PLUS point... you don't have to deal with freezing cold. Thanks for sharing.

  17. That was simply beautiful. It seemed like everyone had fun going down the slopes. :)

  18. What more can I say? All your pictures are simply awesome. :D The trail looks so special.

  19. Bethchai i am so happy to hear from you girlash :) love all your sand dunes photos, and you did slide down *winks* hey, Kimchai hats up to you for posting your pics sliding in sand dunes ;) because i have also pics sliding in the sand dunes of Denmark *winks* ;) nahiya akong i post girlash ;)

    someday Bethchai i wish we could slide down the sand dunes together ;)

  20. ooppps! i forgot girlash....

    Merry Christmas to you and Khai, hope the card arrives before christmas.

    Love yah Kimchai! :)

  21. Betchai, just stopping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year xxx

  22. Wow.. those are some really TALL dunes. Good stuff. I'll have to stop passing those by and check em out this year.
    Merry Christmas to you and Happy Exploring in the New Year:)

  23. I will definitely feel the same if I were to be there, imagine a giant sand slide! lol

    that sure was fun, what a great detour you had.

  24. Such beautiful images. The place has a completely untouched beauty, almost moon like. Thank you so much for posting.

  25. This looks like a very nice place for sand boarding. Thanks for sharing the images. They are very nice.