Breeze; Blessing or Curse?

Among people who’ve actually been here, the San Luis Valley is famous for its wind. Most people who have been here — not just driving through past my house — have come to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Wind at the Sand Dunes is a combination curse and blessing. Sand blowing around gets in your eyes, your skin, your nose etc. etc. BUT it keeps the mosquitoes away when you’re trying to enjoy your PBJ at the picnic table. Great Sand Dunes National Park reopens today with a long list of precautions and warnings. Oddly, everyone will be safer if the wind keeps blowing.

Bear and I love the wind and we don’t care how hard it’s blowing or how cold it is. For us, it’s a friend. There’s that mosquito thing. Then, if it’s blowing hard enough, no one is playing golf, though San Luis Valley golfers are a hardy bunch and they’ll play golf in snow.

One fun phenomenon here in the Big Empty is wind blowing in two directions at once. There are mountains to the east and mountains to the west, different ranges. If the wind blows over each range, it comes from different directions, that happens most often in spring, the dust cloud gets “stuck” in the wind. You can see this in the featured photo. The dust cloud had made it all the way, blowing from the east, across the fields between Alamosa and Monte Vista. It hit the wind coming from the west over the San Juans and got “stuck.” North winds happen with storms. Most of the time, though, the wind blows from the south and while it might be fierce and dusty, it’s just wind.

Walking north in a hard wind in winter is a sport all by itself, fun if you’re dressed for it.

Me impersonating Roald Amundsen. I wonder if he would have liked the kind of high tech warm-wear we have now?

Otherwise, I’m having a hard time sleeping these days. I wake up at 1 feeling anxious and weird and don’t go back to sleep until 3 or so. I’m pretty damned tired, and I bet I’m not the only one. Hang in there, everybody.

12 thoughts on “Breeze; Blessing or Curse?

  1. Sorry to hear you are not sleeping. Anxiety is running high in this nation right now so you are not alone! It was not windy here, at least not this week. Wind coming from 2 different directions in my part of the world usually means we get bad weather and tornadoes… I’d trade for a dust cloud. When we lived in Michigan City the power plant had mountains of coal and the wind would pick up the dust and deposit it everywhere! You learned really quickly not to wipe but to first rinse with lots of water or there would be scratches – on the car, the railings, your glasses…

    • Oh my god! Coal dust would be awful. I’m supposed to go on a social-distancing hike with two friends tomorrow but since my best sleep has lately been between 4 and 8 am, I don’t know. We’re supposed to meet at the trail head at 9. I’m already stressing about it. 😦

  2. Sleep is tough to come by these days. Your wind photo is crazy! I thought those were actual clouds. I hope the hike works out the way you want it to and ends up being fun.

  3. It’s 4.30am and I’m just going to bed. The masters course is a lot more in depth than I first realised and I tried reading information on line but it boggled my eyes. Then I could not fit the text to the print size. It was too large. I wish I was in the wind in the valley!

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