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August 13th 2006
Published: August 17th 2006
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Kings of the DunesKings of the DunesKings of the Dunes

Robert and Austin scaled the top of the dunes. A man's got to know his limitations, and Scott reached his half-way up!

Day 9 - August 13, 2006


We hit a discount store early, to stock up, but it still took a long time to get out of Denver. We eventually hit the road and headed towards Colorado Springs. We waved at the Air Force Academy as we winged past it, and also the exit for Focus on the Family. The kids said later "What Pike's Peak?"

We finally reached the Great Sand Dunes National Park around 6pm. It was fairly deserted (there were only two cars in the parking lot, probably because it was cold and had already stormed and was still raining.) Nevertheless, we had a schedule to keep and armed with jackets and caps, we went out. Pictures don't tell you how far away the sand dunes are. They look close, and they certainly don't look that tall either. However, it is a quarter mile walk to reach the first dune, and some of them are 650 feet tall (at 8200 feet above sea level). There are over 30 square miles of massive dunes. I really didn't want to get sand all over my shoes and also really didn't want to hike in fifty-something degree weather with rain coming
Great Sand Dunes National ParkGreat Sand Dunes National ParkGreat Sand Dunes National Park

We reached the Great Sand Dunes National Park just before Dusk, while a slight rain was falling
down either. The boys put on sandals and took off, even running a lot of the way. They both reached the top of the dunes in record time. Scott took their picture from about half a mile away.

The boys went a mile all told up the dunes to get to the top. Robert said it was snowing at the top. Then they proceeded to run back down. Meanwhile, Krysten and I had gone to the top of the first dune, and then returned to the RV to dry off and grab a camera to capture the double rainbow. It took Krysten and me about 30 minutes to get just as far as the first dune. The boys only took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to go there and back again. (Like a hobbit's holiday). When they got back, their feet and sandals were filthy. At the end of the day, Robert and Austin felt like conquerors. (Considering the weather, they just might be ready for Mt. Everest).

That night we stayed at the Alamosa KOA campground in Colorado (slot 8). We arrived fairly late for a campground, after 9pm. And Scott had to setup the RV
A Rare Double RainbowA Rare Double RainbowA Rare Double Rainbow

We were encouraged by a unique double rainbow while ascending the dunes in the rain
connections in the dark, the one thing he really didn't want to do the first time he setup. Still, it wasn't as bad as he feared. But it was really late, by the time we ate supper (just sandwiches). The campground had spectacular views of the Great Sand Dunes and the mountains. The dunes were really cool, I'd like to go back.

Tip of the day: Carry cheap gallons of water with you so you can rinse off feet and shoes without using up all of your bottled Desani.

Tip 2: And don't forget to grab the sandals off the picnic table before you leave.





Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


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Easier Going on the Way DownEasier Going on the Way Down
Easier Going on the Way Down

The boys didn't take nearly as long to descend the dunes
Pot of Gold?Pot of Gold?
Pot of Gold?

We didn't find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but we did leave the park with treasured memories


19th August 2006

Awesome Pictures
Your pictures are spectacular. What an adventure. Hope Robert found something to be excited about. Great reporting Michelle. Have fun!

Tot: 2.629s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 7; qc: 47; dbt: 0.0363s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb