Africa and Colorado Collide

Trip Start Apr 29, 2013
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Trip End Jun 03, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Friday, May 17, 2013

  The dunes were sort of a bust.  They're very interesting but the walk to get to them is 1/4 mile through deep sand and we were tired before we started.  We walked out to the dunes' edge, Mark and Mariah climbed a small dune and we turned back.  We had lunch and left.  We were not interested in climbing further in the sand and the part of the park that was a wetland was assessable only by 4 wheel drive.  We stopped at another supposed wetland on the way to the motel but it was a bust too.  It seems they only really flood the wetlands when the birds are migrating and that was done.  There were some kids with various "boards" that they were carrying up the dunes in order to "sand board" down.  A lot of work for a ride!
    The dunes cover 330 square miles and are the highest in North America.  Prevailing southwest winds carried the sand across the valley but were blocked by the mountains and accumulated on the foothills. Storm winds blew back the sand into the valley reversing the flow and the resulting
opposing action made the dunes grow vertically.  I was surprised that sand is no longer being added to the dunes.  Due to winds from opposite directions, the dunes move no more than 30 feet per year.
    The sun was high and bright and the pictures are over exposed, so only a couple poor pics.
JK

sad days
Mariah
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