The morning sun bathes the dunes in warm light, while the air temperatures were in the 40's. This dune has a rather large blowout in the center. A blowout is an area with no vegetation to hold the sand in place, so wind and weather erodes it. While I believe this is a natural process, the National Park service wants people to keep off of the dunes so they can recover. By the number of footprints in this blowout, it's not working. While I respect the "keep off" order, I have doubts about it. It seems that if the path to the top of a dune is blocked off, people simply walk around it, creating much more erosion as they stomp and kill the marram grass next to the path. Now the path is larger, and eroding more. For what it's worth, I think the existing paths should become trails, and people should be allowed to walk on them. Providing they stay on the path, erosion would be kept to a minimum. Instead, visitors will ignore the signs, and blaze new trails, further eroding the dunes.
Posted by Tom Gill at Thursday, November 14, 2013