April 28, 2010
This past Sunday we went to Bruneau Dunes. They’re funny because, from a pioneer’s point of view, you’re just wandering along through the grasslands, minding your own business, then the grass peters out, and there are these big sand dunes stuck in the middle of nowhere. They’ve been stable over the centuries because the winds blow one way part of the time, and from the opposite direction the other part, so they just stand where they are.
The Bruneau Dunes are the tallest dunes in North America. Sadly, except for showing up unexpectedly in the middle of the plain, they aren’t nearly as interesting as the Indiana Dunes.
Idaho has a few record-breakers: A canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon, the tallest sand dunes, and a waterfall higher than Niagara; but none of them seems to be well-known outside of Idaho. They aren't as impressive as their counterparts, but they're interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing the Malad Gorge this summer. That's not the deepest canyon, but it is in driving distance.
And there’s a lot of beauty that I don’t know about, until I see it on some rescue footage during a newscast. Really gorgeous stuff!
As we were driving to the dunes we went through some grasslands. As I was thinking about what it would be like to be in a covered wagon and not be able to see where they ended (and thanking heaven for the hundredth time that I had NOT been one of the first settlers), my daughter said, “Oh, cool, we’re the only people in the whole world!” And that’s what it seemed like. It was pretty neat, actually.