An Amazing Adventure~Part 3

9 Nov


Judy Wills


Leaving our friends, we drove to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado, just north of Alamosa, after stopping in Alamosa for lunch.

There are 30 square miles of dunefield. I never even knew there was such a place! And it’s right at the foot of a mountain within the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range that is 13,297’ above sea level! There are five dunes that are over 700’ tall.


We had sand dunes on the west side of Albuquerque, and we used to go there just to play around in the sand. But they were completely different from the sand dunes here at the National Park.

These are shaped by the wind (naturally), and the Medano Creek that flows below the dunes. We stuck our toes in some of the water oozing from that creek. Amazing!

We walked out on the sand—that in the summer can reach 140°! I took my sandals off and felt that lovely warm/wet sand between my toes. However, when we got back to the van, I realized that my feet were coated with something like oil! Fred and Karen had to clean my feet off for me!



The next part of our journey would take several hours. Brian suggested that we listen to a book-on-tape (MP3 in this case). Unable to connect his smartphone to the car’s sound system, he set up a unique amplifier: a plastic cup, set between the front seats, with his phone set in it, speaker into the well of the cup. It was amazing how the sound was so much louder and clearer. We listened to this story the entire trip. If you haven’t heard (or read) Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit), let me recommend it to you. None of us slept through any of it—and it was 11 discs long!

From the Great Sand Dunes, we drove to Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado.


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This is another place Fred and I went on our honeymoon 53+ years ago. Here is a picture of us in 1964 when we made a second trip with my parents. We hadn’t been back since.



Unfortunately, because my knees are bad, I couldn’t make it down the trail to the cliff dwellings, but Fred, Karen and Brian made it, while I went to the gift shop and spent some money. I’m sure Fred wished I could have made the trip down the trail instead! It was a first trip there for Karen and Brian. It is a fascinating place, for sure.

For our overnight, we had another great experience. We stayed in the Ute Mountain Casino and Resort in Towaoc, Colorado.

The rooms were large and well-kept, and we slept well. The next morning, we had a great breakfast there. The rooms were quite inexpensive, probably because they thought everyone who came there would play the casino.


~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~

One Response to “An Amazing Adventure~Part 3”

  1. Old Things R New November 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    Those dunes are amazing! I wonder why the soil is oily.


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