Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
April 27, 2010
With summer quickly approaching, thoughts turn to sand and sea. And even those of us who are landlocked can enjoy the silica splendor of America’s impressive and oddball inland dunes.
The Highest Sand Dune in North America is located within the Great Sand Dunes National Park in North Mosca, Colorado. Topping out at 750 feet high, Star Dune is a monstrous mound that makes for some truly tiring trudging. The nearby “High Dune” is not nearly as high.
On a lighter note, head for the “Singing Sand Dune” at Sand Mountain, Nevada. Slide down the side of the mountain and you will hear the pile emit a strange moan. The eerie note you hear is (usually) two octaves below middle C. There are many other “singing sands” around the world. A group of scientist have studied the phenomenon and concluded that it is the result of the synchronized motions of grains of sand, with the outer layer of the dune vibrating like a loudspeaker. Now…Name That Dune!
Exploiting erosion is the name of the game, with camel statues, a “tree-eating dune,” sand bottle crafting, and a large well-stocked gift shop. The highlight of any visit will most likely be “The Sand Museum”: a display of far-flung sand samples from around the world, sealed in vials for your perusing pleasure. We have to admire the attention to detail that went into this small “museum” of the miniscule. After all…no pain, no grain!
[Post by Anne D. Bernstein]
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