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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
3rd Jul 2015 - Summer 2015
Day 33-July 3, 2015-Great Sand Dunes National Park

Day 33-July 3, 2015-Great Sand Dunes National Park

Drove 195 miles in 5-1/2 hours.

Chilly last night, we needed the heat and an extra blanket.

Temp started at 52 and went up to 76.

We had visitors at our camp site first thing this morning, a couple in the camp site across the road from us. They saw our “Sugarmill Woods” license plate and it seems they live two streets over from us in Florida.  It’s a small, small world.  I could almost understand it if we were at a vacation destination but we’re at a campground that only has 26 sites in a town virtually unheard of.  Talked for a while and promised to keep in touch.

It started to rain as soon as we got on the road.  We drove through agricultural farms and some horse farms on route 17 to a bumpy road called Lane 6 to Great Sand Dunes National Park.  We could see the sand dunes as we approached with the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in the background.  The dunes are formed when the sand that gets blown from the San Luis Mountains about 65 miles west of here (where we came from a few days ago) is too heavy to get over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and falls in the valley.  The dunes are about 750’ high and constantly changing. They cover about 33 square miles and are the largest dunes in North America. The only way to get to them is to cross the Medano Creek, which looked really shallow.  This is a holiday week-end and the park was filled with people in the creek wading and playing in the water.  A lot of people were climbing the dunes on the other side of the creek.  There’s an amphitheater, visitor center and nature trails but mostly people are here for fun in the water and on the dunes. We ate lunch and got on our way.

The same mountain range that keeps the sand from getting over kept us from going over.  There is no road over the mountains so we had to go around them.  Up Route 17 to Salida, a quaint little town we stayed at two years ago.  We went into Walmart for a few groceries and it was crazy with people stocking up for the 4th of July tomorrow.

The 50 miles from Salida to Canon City is one of the most beautiful drives we’ve been on.  It’s in a canyon with the Arkansas River constantly on the left and the rocky cliffs on the right.  Tight curves, mostly downhill, some rockslides and beautiful scenery.  The river was swollen, muddy and raging with all the rain they’ve had this year and the whitewater rafting companies were keeping busy.  Three people have died rafting this year because the waters are so rough.  There are a lot of little state parks on the river with fishing, camping, rafting, boating and hiking.  Black clouds and lightning threatened us but we only got a little rain the whole drive.

Got to the campground about 5PM and my sister, Sharon, was waiting for us in the office.  We talked for a while, then had dinner and the delicious watermelon she brought.  Getting chilly again.

Next: Day 34-THE FOURTH OF JULY, 2015
Previous: Day 32-July 2, 2015-To the Rockies

Diary Photos

Us at Great Sand Dunes NP

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes NP

Dunes and Creek

Dunes and Mountains

Red Roof house


Black cows at the foot of mountains

White cloud and black cloud

Arkansas River

Route 50 view

Diary Movies

Great Sand Dunes video

White and black clouds

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