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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 02:38 pm
Yes, I'm stalking Dira Sudis, and I don't think she minds...at least I hope she doesn't. So this past summer Amalthia and I took a road trip, which was pretty fun, except I pushed us too hard like I always do. And by that I mean, too many early mornings, too many miles driven - our saving grace was those fan fic pod cast commentaries that I cannot remember the name of, but which made us laugh like crazy! ("This is why we can't have nice things...")

Anyway, here are the relevant pics and info about the story...


This is the road to White Sands National Monument.  It's kind of a lonely road, flat and dusty and then flat...it's the detour that Don takes in Missing Persons when he's not quite ready to take Charlie home. (Quotes are from her story.)

*

Charlie woke up as the car slowed down. The sun was bright, slanting in the afternoon and shining straight into Charlie's side of the car. They were headed much more south than west, for the first time since they'd hit Memphis. Charlie squinted behind his sunglasses and said, "Don?"

"Little detour," Don said, without looking over at Charlie. His hands were on the wheel at ten and two, like the night they'd escaped through the fog, though the day was bright and clear and the road was straight.

Charlie tried to remember what had been on the map that they might be detouring around. "Do you have something against Albuquerque?"

Don smiled, and his hands relaxed on the wheel. "I just thought you should see the desert. Sun, sand, parabolic dunes..."

*
















This is the entrance to the monument; it's the gift shop, and boy do they have nice things! I think Charlie and Don go into the gift shop, because Don can't resist buying Charlie things to make up for the hell he's been through.

*

"Yeah, cool," he said, looking west to the horizon, the dunes rising in the distance and the gate approaching, welcoming them to White Sands National Monument.

Don parked in a nearly-empty lot by a small building labeled Visitors' Center, and Charlie followed him inside. Don paid the ranger, collecting a sticker for the car and a map, along with a number of stern warnings about park rules and how not to die in the desert. Charlie tuned out and studied the postcards and souvenir magnets. He trusted Don to know how to keep them safe.

*








Of course Don is far to savvy to actually sign his name in a guest book, so I took the liberty of signing it for him.
(See? I told you I was stalking Dira...)




More of the visitor's shop and surrounds...







This is the drive up to the gate, where you buy your ticket and they give you a map.  In the story, Charlie leaves all of these details in Don's capable hands.












Here are signs warning of danger, but again, Charlie is happily oblivious, trusting Don to take care of him.


*

Don tugged a lock of his hair, and Charlie looked up and followed him out to the parking lot. Don didn't look at the little map once they were in the car, just pulled out and headed down the only road leading into the park. The dunes got closer, taller, whiter as they approached, until they were into the heart of them, pale sand rising up all around the road. Charlie had his nose pressed to the window, tracing their contours as best he could from his limited perspective.

*




*

It was hard going, sand sliding underfoot, making him aware that the shoes he wore didn't fit quite right. Don took his arm, helping him along as they climbed, and at the top of the first dune they stopped and looked out across the sand. The dunes rolled away in snaking curves (not perfect parabolas, because the wind wasn't that tidy), anchored here and there by tufts of grass. The breeze was steady and cool up here, but Charlie was still warm from walking, from the sun and the reflected heat rising off the sand....
There was nothing as far as he could see but the pale sand stretching to the hazy blue horizon, blotted here and there with low dogged desert plants....

*









*

...the image was there in his mind--not the flat desert around them but dunes, rippling hills of sand shaped by the wind, by fluid dynamics. Parabolic dunes, ends anchored by vegetation and their centers pushed into ever more extreme curves by the force of the wind; transverse dunes, migrating under prevailing winds, sand sliding down a concave face.

*








*

Don straightened up, Charlie's blanket flaring from his hands in a flash of red to settle on the sand.

*
(Okay, so I only had a blue bandana, but it was still pretty stark against the white sand. Plus I hadn't actually planned to take a photo montage like this, it just happened!)










Naturally Don would never make a creation like this either, but the sand was begging for it!




When they leave the park, they keep heading towards California. Which means that on Highway 70, they turn right at the corner to head west.





Ta da!
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 05:57 am (UTC)
OMG!!! This was so awesome! :) So glad you put this all together. It was also rather neat to see these photos again in context to Missing Persons.

Hehe I also got a kick out of seeing my hand holding up the brochure. :)