My phone rang at just about 8:30 this morning. A cardinal rule, broken, and by my own cousin! (Thou shalt not call Lou before 9:00 in the morning)… Julie said, and I quote "get up and take a shower because we are going to the Great Sand Dunes National Park today!" She informed me that it was a gorgeous day and she needed a road trip! We decided we could listen to church on the internet this evening (see WVC link under blogroll if you want to listen, too!) and that if we started soon, we'd be back in time to get her kids from her husband at 5:00. Less than an hour later we were on the road and headed south. Our agenda? Take pictures. Have fun. Clear our minds… For some reason we thought it was about an hour and a half away. Of course, it wasn't. It was over three hours away! And Mapquest gave bum directions. It was in Walsenburg where the directions went awry. We passed through far through town and we ended up doing a U-Turn and back into town to see if we could get directions. While we were heading down a steep hill back to town, we passed a policeman. Julie jokingly said, "maybe he'll pull us over because we look lost". What he DID pull us over for (after making a quick U-turn himself) was for speeding!! This was just about the last thing Julie needed at this time in her life, and she either looked really sad, or because the officer had no way to tell how fast she was going, she was let go with a written warning…..and directions! And out there in the middle of a couple of mountain ranges was a huge heap of completely out of place tan and peach sand!
Seven hundred feet tall piles of sand! Undaunted (Julie) and daunted (me) we set out for the "peaks"! Cameras, backpacks, and Boogie boards in tow, we were already pooped just walking across the flat expanse of sand which led to the dunes! I was not feeling very positive about making it "to the top". But Julie was!
Up in that little puff of clouds on the right at the top of the dune is a person. Can you see them???
At one point in our climb, the sand was sooooo slippery that it felt like the classic "two steps forward, one step back", only with a twist. It felt more like "one step forward, two steps back." Hard enough climbing sand dunes at sea level. Try doing it at a mile and a half above sea level. YIKES. Though we climbed and climbed it seemed as though "the top" was always out of reach. And we needed to get back home so she could get her kids. So we Boogie boarded our way back down the dunes. (We did make it FAR up. But I don't think there was "a top". Every time we got to the top, there was more yet to climb.)
Me (better get out of the way, Julie!)
One last little jump into the sky before we go! Hope your landing was soft!
We WILL be returning. We plan on getting there for the sunrise and will make it to the top, wherever THAT is. Maybe take beach chairs and hang out up there for awhile….
In the meantime, can I just tell you how sore my calfs are??? (Or is that calves? I'm never sure.)