Hiking the Dunes

Trip Start Aug 29, 2013
1
7
18
Trip End Sep 15, 2013


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Where I stayed
Great Sand Dunes Lodge Mosca
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Colorado
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Today we got up at 7:15 and were at the Oasis for breakfast shortly after 8:00.  Larry got the Breakfast Burrito and I got a Cheese Omelet.  We headed for the Dunes Parking Lot.  It was about a half a mile walk to the dunes.  Then we went up and up and across the dunes.  The sand was a lot more compacted than we thought it would be so the walking was not as difficult as we had expected.  We had picked the highest point that we could see and headed in that direction.  We got to the top of a really high dune but the only way we could see to get to the highest point would have meant walking a ridge that was narrow with a very steep and deep drop on one side and only a slightly less steep drop on the other.  I was chicken to try it so we walked further along the ridge of the dune we were on.  We sat down for a while before heading back to the car.  Most of the way back was ridge walking but not as steep as the one at the top.  We got back to the car about 11:30. 

We weren't ready to eat just yet so we decided to drive back the Medano (med-in-NO) Primitive Road.  It was gravel and sand with just enough room for one car with several wider places where cars could pass each other.  We had the mountains on our right and the dunes on our left.  We met a young lady with a jeep who advised us no to go on as the sand was wet and she almost got stuck.  Larry decided to proceed to the Point of No Return where it said it was safe for cars without 4-wheel drive.  When we got there we found a parking lot with a picnic table.  We were going to just birdwatch until the table was free when another couple told us of a trail to the dunes where we could have our lunch.  So we took the 1/2 mile Sand Pit Trail.  It was a trail through sandy dunes that were mostly covered with vegetation.  It felt like we were the only ones out there.  We walked down and down through the soft sand.  We found a place with dead trees to sit and have our lunch.  It was quiet and we couldn't see anyone, our kind of place.  While we were eating two young men came with a sand board and they hiked up into the dunes.  We watched them periodically on our way back.  It was hard going uphill in the soft sand so we had lots of stops to look back and see their progress.  When we got back to the car we were both tired so we just headed for the lodge for a relaxing rest of the afternoon.  We got back about 2:00.  We watched the hummingbirds but they weren't as numerous as yesterday.  I checked email and before long I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer so I took a nap.  Larry spent the time on his iPad and watching birds.  I got up about 4:00 and joined Larry on the porch.  Before long we had new neighbors beside us, two men from Grand Rapids, MI who had been backpacking in the San Juan Mountains just west of here.  They were friendly and before long we talking about beer, birds, and travel.  They gave Larry two beers to try.  We talked to them until it was time to go to supper.  For supper Larry had a burrito and I had a hot roast beef sandwich.  Tonight Larry had strawberry rhubarb pie and I had banana cream.  Again both delicious.  After supper we looked at birds around the restaurant and added a few to our list.  When we got back to the room I blogged and Larry checked out the weather radar.  We can see two storms across the valley and we could see them on the radar.  The valley is about 80 miles wide and 120 miles long and we can see across it to the San Juan Mountains.  The sunset tonight was not as good as last night.  We plan to sit out until it is too dark.  Last night I went out just before bed to see the stars.  It was incredible!  There were so many stars it was hard to find any constellations but I managed to see the Big and Little Dippers.  The cloud of the Milky Way Galaxy was as clear as I have ever seen it, including in the Badlands in South Dakota.  Right now it is pretty cloudy but I hope it clears up to see the stars again.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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Comments

Bobbie on

WOW! What stark beauty. And here I thought the Michigan sand dunes were great!

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