Great Sand Dunes National Park

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This afternoon we visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The dunes cover 30 square miles and reach a height of about 750 feet. From some perspectives, they appear even higher than that.

Goodness, gracious, great piles of sand

After looking at the exhibits in the visitor center, we hit the dunes.

Driftwood?

The dunes are deceptively steep. When you’re looking at them, you can tell that they go up, but they go up a lot faster than they appear to. Mary and Kathryn made it about a third of the way up before turning around. They must have more sense than I do. But, I wanted to go to the top of the dunes. Why? Because they’re there.

Yeah... I'm going up there

Almost to the top

The view from up there is interesting. You’re standing on all this sand, looking at the forested mountains of the Rockies.

One of these things is not like the other...

Here are more pictures.

It was a great day to be on the dunes. It was only about 80, cloudy but not overcast with a gentle breeze. Nearing the top, the wind did pick up for a few minutes. The blowing sand was rather abrasive but it was fun to watch the top layer of sand dance across the dune, reshaping it. By the time the wind died back down, my footprints were gone.

Over the last couple days we’ve been watching rain bounce around the area. It falls in these small, localized areas rather than all across the plain. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Rain

After leaving the dunes, we headed back to the Airstream. We grilled lamb chops and vegetables while watching the light die on the mountains.

Dinner

A beautiful ending to another great day.

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