Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Visions of the Southwest~ Great Sand Dune National Park, Colorado WW

Sand dunes in Colorado??
Isn't Colorado all things John Denver and Rocky Mountains?
Well, yes....and no.
In southern Colorado, waaaaaaay off the beaten path,
and shockingly, quite crowded despite this,
is a gem of a national park that is widely visited!
Look at that sky? Gorgeous, no?
The history and culture of this area spans The Stone Age 
through modern Native American peoples and can be researched here

Here we are right outside the interpretive center of the park:
Sand dunes in the background~
After we read the displays, watched the educational film 
and listened to a ranger's fascinating talk on the
diversity among the dunes  and preserve
and at Medano Creek, which is within the park
we set out to conquer that sand!
Hey, we hiked over ice in Glacier National Park 
as well as the Bright Angel Trail in The Grand Canyon.
So off we went.....
They look quite business-like,
wouldn't you say? 
How hard could this be?
It's only sand, right?

Turns out, It. Was. Hard.
Like killer, borderline heat - stoke,
height of the afternoon sun, (what were we thinking?)
 no clouds and 106 degrees hard.
Well, for me.
I just had to give up about 3/4 of the way to the summit
of the main dune's peak.
I insisted they go on because there was no way I could continue.
BUT, the guys had the camera and here they are At The Top.
Pretty cool, huh?

Come in, 1969...
Channeling Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin!
Amazing views, too!
Here we are back at the interpretive/visitor center,
where the boys got sworn in as junior rangers of 
Great Sand Dun National Park after completing a number of activities,
plus hiking and participation in the ranger program.
Here are the dunes from a distance, as  we traveled away from
the park and toward Monument Valley, UT/AZ,
land of the Navajos, amazing fry bread ,
the setting of many movies and, of course,
 immeasurable beauty.

For tons of info, kids' activities and  resources for travel
or teaching,
please visit The National Park Services's

I've intermittently been blogging our western trip 
for over a month and still,
there are sooooo many more posts to come!
Lots of places to share, yes.....
But the best part is chronicling our adventures here and 
re-living it with all of you!


  1. What a beautiful place! I would have thought CO was all trees and mountains! I did not realize there are dunes there:).

    1. Yes, zbekki, we did not either until we began our planning!

      It's certainly fascinating!

      Thanks for the visit!

  2. It sure looks and sound as a lovely place, a place to have fun, enjoy and learn a few things along the way. Very nice pictures.

    1. Hi there~
      Yes, all true....lots of fun and learning!

      Thanks for stopping in!

  3. Wow, great shots! what an amazing place!

    1. Thanks so much!! And thanks for visiting....I appreciate it!!
      stopping over at your "home on the web" now too!

  4. What amazing scenery, the open vista is quite breathtaking


    1. It is, isn't it, Molly?!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!!


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