Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Great Sand Dunes

 This weekend we ventured about four hours southeast of Montrose, to Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colorado. I have been to the Sand Dunes, about 11 years ago, while driving nearby on a family vacation. We just popped by for an hour or two then, so needless to say this was a whole different experience (and a bit easier to remember).

I don't really have a whole lot of stats for this weekend - you can pretty much hike wherever you want on the dunes. We did do a 2 miler on Saturday evening to the "Dunes Overlook," and then we hiked to "High Dune" on Sunday morning. I don't know the distance, but High Dune is supposedly 650 feet tall. It felt to me like we were climbing so much higher than that - I guess walking up loose sand does that to you!

I took lots of pictures this weekend, so I'm just going to do quick descriptions and let the pictures tell the rest.

Once we got to the Dunes on Saturday afternoon, we walked out on the flat part for a little while, and then got caught in a little rain:

This mountain was getting engulfed by the rainstorm on our way in:

Once the rain passed, we set up camp. We had great views of the park:

Throughout the evening we saw tons of wildlife, including a bear! The bear actually looked like he had been in a fight..and didn't come out of it well (you can't really see it in the picture but both of his eyes looked like something had gotten to them).

Colorado still has all of its fire ban's in place (despite the rain we were having), so we headed back out of the park to get some dinner. We stopped at an overlook on our way back in to admire this view:

 I kept seeing these wildflowers around and thought they were so pretty!

Sunday morning we started our hike to the top of High Dune around 7am, and were the second people to the top:

Scott and I's family portrait:

That black dot on the point of the dune is me!

Scott and Argie running down the dunes!

Me running down the dunes.

After I made it about halfway back down, I decided shoes were no longer necessary!
 Pretty sand!

Well that was our trip. Growing up in Colorado, I love every chance to walk barefoot in the sand, so I had a blast! I think I may need to make the Sand Dunes a yearly tradition!

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