Today I’ll attempt a second try at that remote set of sand dunes. I know that there aren’t enough hours in the day to make an approach across level desert so instead I’m going to attempt a “shortcut” I’ve scouted from satellite images. The route will take me back to Friday’s oasis, up and onto an enormous landslide which I’ll then ascend into the mountains. Once inside I think there’s a canyon I can follow to the end, climb to the top and then drop over the back side onto the dunes. The main challenges with this route will be safety, time (already getting a late start), water, mountain lions and bears and the incredible cold of early evening. I’ll be passing beneath one of the tallest and steepest escarpments in North America and I don’t want to be caught in it’s chill shadow as the sun goes down and the icy desert winds begin to blow.

Do you know that classic cartoon gag where a man is taunting a baby elephant without realizing the baby’s enormous mother is immediately behind him? That happened to me today as I video recorded a shopping mall sized prehistoric landslide without realizing the long, tapering mountain behind me was another landslide at least one hundred times larger.

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