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Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, USA

Medano Creek runs down from the high alpine slopes of the Sangre de Christo mountains to create the southern boundary of an unusual sand dune field, part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.  The creek helps keep the dunes in place at the southeast corner of the grand San Luis Valley, a vast 100 mile long 50 mile wide valley of high desert sagebrush and potato farms bordered to the west by the San Juan (volcanic) mountains and the east by the Sangre de Christo mountains.  The sand originated as volcanic rock from the once mighty San Juan volcanos worn away over millions of years and gathered by the prevailing winds into the dune field.

Copyright: John Roberts
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 18308x9154
Taken: 31/05/2013
Uploaded: 15/06/2013
Updated: 06/04/2015


Tags: dunes; rivers; mountains; geology; outdoor recreation; public lands
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More About USA

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.