I drove to White Sand National Monument in a dark, windy and rainy January Morning. When I arrived, I realized that there was a car at the parking lot already. I gathered my camera gear and went up the dune in the light rain. Here they were. On top of the dune, stood a young couple with their Nikon and monopod. So I started to chat with them while waiting for the weather to clear. They told me that they were college students from Arizona. It was the boy's birthday today. The girl, who grew up in New Mexico, decided to take her photographer boy friend to White Sand for his birthday. They drove 8 hours and slept in car so that they could catch the first light. As we were chatting, the rain stopped and the cloud started to clear. It was beauty and love before my eyes.
I have visited Bisti Badland twice prior to this trip. It has been my dream to come back to this magical place at night. Here I am in September, with a photography friend, Yiming, from Ohio.
We made the last minute decision to camp in there for 2 nights. Now, the problem is that each one of us has some 20 lb of camera gear. The tent and sleep bags we have are not exactly light weight backpacking type. With food and water, we have to carry another 40 lb of load. We are not equipped with the hiking gears to carry this load. Well, nothing stops two PhD's. We experimented a couple of options, including getting a cart to roll it in. The cart idea was proven not very smart, just after 100 feet into the badland. We finally decided on the hard way, to carry a huge duffel bag by hands together.
Here we are, 3 miles of hiking under the sun, countless rest stops, and tons of sweat later. We set our tent in the heart of Bisti. When the night falls, our effort was finally reward. I am short of words to express my excitement. The picture carries all my feelings.