After our two week stay at the Air Force Academy Campground, we relocated to Haggard’s RV Park in Pueblo, Colorado to be closer to family who lives there. We also hooked up with our friends, Brittany and Eric from RV Wanderlust for a few days of comraderie and campfires.
Streams and creeks flowing out of the San Juan Mountains over millennia carried gravel and sand into shallow lakes in the San Luis Valley. During drought periods, these lakes dried, releasing the sand particles to the action of the wind. Strong prevailing southwesterly winds carry the tiny grains toward the Sangre de Cristos, piling them up against the foothills. The resulting dunes are the tallest in North America, covering more than 30 square miles. Adults hike across them and marvel at their beauty; children run and slide down their steep faces, enjoying a playground of fairy-tale proportions. You can read more about how they formed and their geological natures here.
We enjoyed getting a little smarter at the Visitor Center (video and hands-on informational exhibits) and getting our National Park Passport stamped. We then headed to the picnic area where we chowed down on our cooler full of vittles.
After packing up leftover crumbs of our lunch, we all trekked out to the base of the Dunes and climbed up one of them.
While Eric and I stood there chatting for what seemed forever (because we stood there in the heat for all of it), Brittany and Dan disappeared over the crest of the first dune and then looked like little ants the further they hiked. Their words upon their return, ‘it was quite exerting; one step forward, three steps back and doing it at higher altitude, we just couldn’t catch our breath’. They also said they had to stop often to empty their shoes which weighted them down. Traipsing through loose sand, one can imagine how much work that would be. Adding to that, it was a very warm day; about 85 degrees. A couple times, we’d see one of them, bend over; seemingly, they both would stop for awhile. They said they were offered water by some passerby’s (hikers that were faster and more in shape as them?!). Then we’d see them start up again. Anyways, an hour and a half later, they successfully made it to the top. When they returned back to us, they were red-faced and a bit dehydrated so Eric and I sacrificed our own water bottles to get them back to looking a normal color. But LOOK at them!!
On the drive back, our tummies were growling so Eric took to googling places to eat in Pueblo. We agreed on the Bingo Burger which turned out to be a very deserved and pleasant meal. Fantastic burgers!
Good friends! Good times!!