Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Great Sand Dunes National Park

As we approached The Great Sand Dunes we were sure that we were coming up to a lot of rain as the sky ahead looked as if rain was pouring down.  However, it turned out to be a windstorm and it was sand from the dunes that we were seeing.

I was expecting something along the lines of what we saw at White Sands, but these dunes were entirely different.  First, they are huge!  The highest dune reaches 750 feet!  Secondly, the sand is not gypsum but much closer to what we think of as regular sand.  This sand is formed from the wind grinding up the mountains due to a southwesterly wind.

We had a wonderful campsite in which to enjoy both the mountains and the dunes!  We had hoped to stay in the park, but they were full.  It turned out to be a blessing as the mosquitoes at the park were ferocious due to the Medano Creek drying up for the summer and leaving a perfect mosquito breeding ground.  Fortunately, once you were up on the dunes, the mosquitos were not an issue.

We took the sleds that we bought at White Sands for the children to sled down the dunes but they, unfortunately, didn't work as well on this type of sand.  Harris was the only one to really get going probably because he's light and totally up for sledding down very steep embankments.  For instance, in this picture, the little speck is Harris going down a dune "bowl."

Bryce decided that we all needed to climb to one of the highest dunes, cleverly named, High Dune.  It was really hard!  Not only was it steep and in high altitude, but climbing in sand is no joke (loose sand, not packed sand), but climb we did and we made it to the top!

We were so glad that Al and Marilyn, who live in Colorado, were able to join us for the day.  What a treat.

We also checked out a waterfall.  It was pretty, but crowded, probably the most crowded trail we've been on the whole trip.

There was amazing stargazing!  You could see every star in the sky and the milky way.  Harris LOVED it and he loved taking pictures of them.  I think these pictures of the Milky Way are pretty amazing.

Next stop.... Mesa Verde National Park

1 comment:

  1. Amazing pictures again!! So fun you got to see Al and Marilyn too!! Love and miss you guys! Glad you are enjoying the adventure!!


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