Thanksgiving at Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve

The day before Thanksgiving we move from the high, airy Mid Hills campground at 5600 feet above sea level to the much balmier Kelso Dunes at 2400 feet. My couple of hikes in the dunes put me into a rare camera frenzy. The dunes are providers of unusual sights.

A few tamarisk trees provide a sheltered campsite.

Kelso Dunes Campsite

A raven eyes me from his perch on a small dune.

Dune Raven

I find lots of “wind drawings”.

Wind Drawing 3

Wind Drawing 5

Wind Drawing 6

Wind Drawing 7


I see no litter on the dunes except for this mylar balloon. These are the world’s most effective remote littering devices.

Helium Litter

The mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for the swirling spine of the dunes.

Dunes and Mountains

Dunes and Mountains

Ann takes a break

All manner of creatures leave their trails.

Tail Drawings

Bird Tracks

Dark Sand Beetle

Sand Spider

Light Sand Beetle

My Tracks

Tracks to Infinity

It takes us a long time to make our way up the highest dune.

Ann in the dunes

Ann takes a break

Us on the high dune

A couple of painted lady butterflies meet us there.

Painted Lady Butterfly

All this, and a fantastic camper-cooked thanksgiving meal by Ann too. Truly gratitude-inspiring.

Camper Thanksgiving Dinner Cook

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