It was a beautiful, sunny, Sunday afternoon. Warm, but not hot. It was one of those days where the sky was a deep blue, perfectly clear, and I didn't want to be encumbered by anything that would feel like a drag on me. Not a sweater, purse, or much in the way of clothing, as far as that goes.
But we were working; taking pictures for one of our clients at a motorcycle show. The parking lot was full of sparkling chrome, and colorful bikes, of all shapes and sizes. Their owners inspecting their machinery, would every so often wipe an imaginary smudge from the tank or handlebar. The pride was palpable, even from the owners of the rat bikes.
A friend of ours drove up on a trike, a short, rather round, spikey haired woman, with her elderly mother helmeted on the back. The trike was fairly new so we walked over to say hello and take pictures for her.
As we were standing next to the trike talking, I felt a breeze kick up. I had to squint as I felt something blow into my eyes. My mouth started to feel gritty and I actually had the thought "close your mouth." It felt like I couldn't catch my breath. My hair lifted and I could feel it waving above my head. There were tiny pin pricks on my face, arms, and legs. As I peeked out from under my lashes, it was as if I was in a cloud, a whirling cloud of dirt, and I couldn't see the people I was standing with.
It was over quickly and as I opened my eyes, I could see a dust devil move away from us across the adjacent lot. Holy crap! We were just in the middle of that thing! We stood there, wondering what the hell had just happened, and began realizing that we were covered with dirt and goatsheads, a small, but incredibly painful thorn when stepped on, that is prolific in this area.
We often see dust devils in the desert, moving off in the distance, pulling whatever is in it's path and twirling it up into the air. What a trip!