Sniff, sniff. It’s the first time the snowboarding season is ending and I’m actually going to miss it. Out here in Colorado we still have a few weeks left, but nary a few good days. The snow is turning to rain, even in the high country.

What’s a girl to do? How about head for the hills. Of sand. With a board.

My Denver Snowboarding Examiner piece on transitioning from snow to sand gives the goods on how to get started in sandboarding and how to make it down the hill, sense of humor intact. Because nothing says Earth Day like sand between your toes…

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People find out I sandboard and ask me a ton of questions, like I know what I’m doing or something. Let’s get one thing straight: I only sandboard every couple of years and only do when when my legs refuse to go on another mountain bike trip or I can’t afford to fly to some coast somewhere to go surfing.

Same thing with golf. When I tell folks I’m going golfing they always respond, “I didn’t know you golfed.” That’s because I don’t. Except on that particular day.

I’m no expert on the sand with a board. I use a cheapo plastic promotional board from Dannon and wear my Salomon snowboard boots, sweatpants, and some kind of warm windbreaker. Lucky for me the Great Sand Dunes National Park is only four (Annie leadfoot) hours from Denver and there’s some amazing hot springs at Joyful Journey on the way home.

So, I go. Last week I had the good fortune of 36 hours (pretty much) off, so I packed up Subi II with camping and sand/snowboard stuff.

I hiked up for about two hours, then sandboarded down the steepest lips of sand I could find. At one point I miscalculated, and the angle was too acute to gain momentum, and there I am, jumping up and down, pathetically trying to push myself forward. I unclipped my bindings and walked to a steeper, albeit shorter, lip.

Pictorial highlights below:

The road in from the south, near Alamosa

The road in from the south, near Alamosa

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Nature's optical illusion

Nature’s optical illusion

Optical illusion 2

Optical illusion 2

First time in my life I've been tall and thin

First time in my life I’ve been tall and thin

The Sangre de Cristos in the background

The Sangre de Cristos in the background

Tall and thin twice in one day

Tall and thin twice in one day

Grasses in the wind

Grasses in the wind

Brilliant color at sunset

Brilliant color at sunset

No, I don't own Photoshop

No, I don’t own Photoshop

Walked up that

Walked up that

Dannon and Sky

Dannon and Sky

SheSpoke poses and readies

SheSpoke poses and readies

Dannon's ready

Dannon’s ready

Steep, short, and safe

Steep, short, and safe

Boarding this lip was the day's highlight!

Boarding this lip was the day’s highlight!


Until the back and shoulders feel better, I’m relegating myself to photo essays and mini-posts. Here’s the former of a trip from the fall of 2005, which inspired me to get this gosh-darn blog started.

 

The bottom of the sand run

The bottom of the sand run

 

Vegetation is sparse

Vegetation is sparse

Vegetation is sparse, but dramatic

Vegetation is sparse, but dramatic

 

Ghosty isn't a word, but it's appropos here

Ghosty isn't a word, but it's appropos here

A typical sand run at White Sands--short and steep

A typical sand run at White Sands--short and steep

 

This trip was unfortunately not sponsored by Dannon

This trip was unfortunately not sponsored by Dannon

Posing before the next run

Posing before the next run

Sorry kids, action shots not available. This was a solo trip.