Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Stopped on the road to take this

Just as the sign says

A Mirage or water (bottom of sand dunes)???

Kids walking across the water

Pavement ends and dirt road begins.

Sand dunes viewed from dirt road.

Three photos stitched together

Tuesday, May 5th, we left Durango and headed east on Hwy. 160. We stopped for two nights in Blanco, CO., which is near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Wednesday morning we packed a picnic lunch and drove to the National Park. As we were driving toward the entrance to the park, off in the distance we could see the huge sand dunes at the base of a snow-capped Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Beside the sand dunes it looked like a mirage but as we got closer we could see that it truly was water on the East side of the dunes. When we viewed the movie at the Visitor Center it explained that there was water flowing from the snow melt in the mountains and travels on both the east and west sides of the sand dunes. The one on the east side is wide and shallow and covers a large area in the Spring but narrows down to a trickle in the late Summer. We then drove to the picnic area, which overlooks the water flow on the east side of the dunes. We ate lunch while a school bus full of kids played in the shallow water. Each of the kids that stepped into the water remarked about how cold the water was. Duh, it is run off from the snow-capped mountain. Carol and I decided to not water log our shoes or get cold feet just to get to the 750 foot high sand dunes that were on the other side of the water. We just took pictures and marveled at the size of the huge sand dunes. We then drove further up the mountain for some better views. Part of the road was paved but further up the road turned to a narrow, bumpy, dirt and sand road. We drove up to the point where the posted sign said, “you must have 4-wheel drive vehicle beyond this point”. We had our 4-wheel Jeep but Carol said that was far enough, so we turned around headed back to our home on wheels. This National Park is very diverse because it has desert, sand dunes, forest and snow-capped mountains. There are several trails up in the mountain and you can climb on the sand dunes. Both of those take more energy than we have, especially climbing the dunes. If you remember how difficult it is to walk on a sandy beach, how about trying to climb a 750-foot tall beach.

Thursday we are heading for Canon City, CO.

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