Sunday, March 8, 2009

Great Sand Dunes artist residency!

The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado.

Great Sand Dunes, east coast version.

Yesterday I found out I was chosen to be the first artists-in-residence at Great Dunes National Park in Colorado. The process was amazingly quick, I usually have to wait up to 3 months to find out if I was chosen (although I never understand why it takes so long). I got the phone call about this one about a week after the deadline.

I'll be there for two weeks at the end of September and will stay near headquarters in a small efficiency apartment usually used for ranger housing. I also have the option of staying some of the time in a little cabin a bit more off the beaten path. Because of its high elevation, 8200 feet, it will be cool in September, about 60 degrees during the day and close to freezing at night. Nice hiking weather.

The dunes are the largest in North America and are at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. They began to form 440,000 years ago when persistant southwest winds carried sand from a massive lake bed towards the mountains where it was met by storm winds from the east. There is an excellent page on the formation of the dunes on the park website. I've just begun my research of the park, and the more I find out about it the more interesting it gets.

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