Grand Sand

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
1
22
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Trip End May 24, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our time in the remote region of south-west-central-Colorado had finally come to a close. Colorado is a mind-boggling state, geographically. I mentioned earlier that we east-coasters assume Colorado is a lot more north than it is. Here in the Alamosa, CO, region, we're on the same latitude as Virginia and Kentucky. Maybe the misperception is because we affiliate Denver with skiing and skiing with cold and north. Maybe because Denver is the mile-high city, which we assume means "up" or something. Denver is only called the mile-high city because its official elevation is exactly 5,280 feet, or one mile. Elsewhere in Colorado, you can find towns that are more than twice as high in the mountains, and you can find vast flat lands that look more like Texas ranches than anything having to do with Colorado.
One geographic feature that we did not expect to find was the Great Sand Dunes National Park. These sand dunes cover over 100,000 acres. They are uniquely nestled in the shadow of the mountains, which are primarily responsible for their formation.

This little sight-seeing side trip was a bit of an afterthought. We had to go a total of 40 miles off-route to see it, and we didn't even enter the park. There was a $3 entrance fee per person, which,  understand, is nominal. But it was windy, kinda cold, and we could see the dunes from outside the gate. We opted to take a few pictures and head back. Given a little more time to spare, and a few degrees warmer, it would have been neat to climb on the dunes and explore a bit. But... that experience will have to be left out this time.

But, like I said, we got some pictures. The dunes are huge, and... sandy...Enjoy.
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