Great Sand Dunes National Park: June 16-19, 2019

tCvJvOrQQjqyfJCN9X9+og

Stunning

 

We love sand dunes.  There’s just something about being on them.  It’s a different sensation than any other outdoor experience.  And it’s a super workout trudging uphill with the reward of running down them.

We were here in 2000 for just a few hours with our friend Dianni.  That was before it became a national park; back then it was a national monument.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t as crowded in 2000.  If you want to attract large crowds all you have to do is attach national park at the end of a name!

The unusual thing about this national park was we didn’t see a single Euro or Asian.  How strange.  I’m guessing 75% of the visitors were Coloradoans.

There’s a main dune access area where all the families go to pretend they are at the beach and to climb the lower dunes and sled.  What an awesome thing for families to do. There’s also a primitive area 4 miles north, of which 1.5 miles is a 4×4 recommended dirt road.  There are no crowds, but if you do happen to see someone the dunes are so expansive you never have to cross paths.

The most amazing thing is this time of the year Medano Creek pulses with rhythmic waves called surge flow.  I was calling them mini tsunamis.  The creek would be calm, then out of nowhere you could hear, then see a surge coming. The surge occurs when the antidunes in the creek bed break.

And now a little humor.  It’s so entertaining observing the going ons of a campground.  I have no doubt our fellow campers get a kick out of us.  My favorite observation this stop was when a wife stuck her head out of their fifth-wheel and yelled, “Honey fire up the generator I need to use the microwave.”

 

 

WXrl68b8QvKhVSO3R9oOJA

Pinyon Flats Campground site 17

IFQNthuYT0yWJ4dHQW%NEg

Surge flow on Medano Creek and Mt. Herard in the background.

WtdCjYF0TxOKDQgL4QvrCw

Nothing like a wide open expanse of sand dunes to make one feel small

qlJSIYQpSLi%rvWYDVn5uA

This brazen mule deer was coming right at Amelia and me while we were sitting outside.  Sara was in the Airstream having a conniption fit.  So I leashed her up and brought her out.  She’s a big talker while in her Airstream, but she didn’t say boo when face to face with the deer.

9xiiJr2PQZC7yndzC5mcVA

Medano Creek looking downstream from the main dune access area

g9fBDxhZTjuHsiUd34GuQg

Early bird gets the worm. On our second day we got up early and went to the main dune area so we could hike up to High Dune.  When we came down the crowds were forming like a summer day in Pacific Beach.

 

cEwmrV9DQrWkA3dfqMOACw

Crazy scene: families setting up for the day with chairs, blankets, water toys, and implements for digging in the sand.  Just families having fun.

Ge0ycPqjQXG+ulIkxEJeOw

Folks streaming in as we were leaving.

Xmq1BR1PRHKhjYM45BHdLA

Campground sunset

hvu8mddKSaK7IaEdzMPaiA

Amelia trying to follow my footsteps

egaTGxfTSmy+vsBh5o3OLQ

Our deepest crossing

uCicmBtYSt68MZKzRA7kpw

Narrowleaf Penstemon

aaJia%oISYmP0gecMu9AVA

Early evening after a thundershower

t6BJWCRNSoSgc7HENddlRg

Solitude

11 thoughts on “Great Sand Dunes National Park: June 16-19, 2019

  1. What a great trip you are having. Vaughan bought a little Casita trailer so now perhaps we can join you down south for a mountain biking adventure in the Spring.

  2. I think I like the Great Sand Dunes better than the white.Great blog.         Looks like Sara is holding her own, maybe this trip will put her cancer in remission.Hope so.

  3. 🤣🤣🤣
    Do you want to hear a little funny? When I was watching the video (before seeing the water), I actually thought the sound was coming from the sand. 🤦🏽‍♀️🤣🤣 I need to get out more! Keep doing your thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s