Since before my brother and I were born it was decided by my parents that we would be the kids who were constantly dragged on adventures. Over the years, I have seen my fair share of our beautiful country, and I figured I would do several posts on my travels around the country. I will start with more recent events because they are easier to remember and because I have pictures readily available. The older pictures will take a bit longer to obtain seeing as they are on the opposite side of the country at the moment. But that is beyond the point! I suppose I will start with one of my favorite trips taken in Colorado: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. ( I will include a link to their park website at the end of my post).
The weekend took several weeks of planning. Luckily, one of my best friends families has property in southern Colorado, and her parents were along for the ride and put us up for the weekend at their Ranch. That being said lodging was not an issue for us, but there is lodging in the area. Most people camp, there are all terrain trails that can be taken through the national park, and along these trails are quaint camp sites to be used by park guests. If camping isn’t your style, then there are other options such as cabins, a motel, a lodge, and ranch that can be utilized (reservations must be made ahead of time, plan wisely). Of course, you can research these further by visiting the website posted below.
We took three Jeeps and made an all-day trek through the woods to the dunes. This was the highlight of our trip because all parties enjoy the outdoors and a little thrill. We took Medano Pass into the park; this is where our careful planning took place. We used a Colorado State Gazetteer, in other words, a good, old-fashioned map! We traced our route out in a highlighter days before, and the leader of our Jeep convoy lead the way (I am a damn good navigator).
After our adventure and lunch in the woods, we finally got to the Dunes. The main attraction did not let us down. They are beautiful, and their shapes change depending on the wind, rain, snow, and ice. How cool is that?? We were lucky that Medano Creek still had water trickling through to cool us off on our warm fall day. We took the highway out after an hour and a half in the park and were exhausted.
Overall, I learned so much from taking this trip. Pack an easy lunch. We packed cold cuts, different types of bread, and condiments. Also be sure to include a variety of drinks for all parties involved. On top of our sandwich bar, we packed snacks galore. We were gone from around 8 am until around 8 pm and we knew that snacks would be necessary. Our trip took so long because of the route we chose to take. This trip will be shorter depending on if you are staying close to the dunes, and the way that you come into the park. I learned that our trip was not for the weak of heart, but I would do it again in an instant.
I am hoping to make this trip again in the future with Jack. He is all about the outdoors, Jeeps, and adventures in the woods. I hope this helps you realize that adventure is still out there, that we have some amazing national parks and that Colorado is colorful, wonderful, and welcoming to all!
Great Sand Dunes National Park Website: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm