Sunset at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, CO reveals the natural order of things. At the bottom of the image is the verdant San Luis Valley. Hidden below that, extending 10,000 feet deep is the aquifer that brings life to the surrounding area. Behind the valley floor are the beautiful sand formations of Great Sand Dunes National Park. The most prominent one in the image is Star Dune, the tallest dune in North America. Further back is a slope that leads up to the nearest peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (off the image to the right). Farther back is the jagged line of 14,294' Crestone Peak's twin summits, at one time considered unclimbable. Behind the peaks are wind-whipped clouds, representing that invisible companion that constantly scrubs the sand below of all evidence of human trespass. Forming the final backdrop is a dramatic layering of high, dark clouds bringing new rain to the mountains, from where it will eventually flow to the aquifer, bringing the remarkable sand with it. Imaged August 2006.