Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is in southern Colorado, 1.5 hours south of Salida, CO, where we are staying.


It contains the tallest dunes in North America. Established September 13, 2004, it just celebrated it’s 12th birthday.


It’s a small park, made up mostly of the dunes and creek and beach that lay at it’s base. There are some back country hikes up the Medano Pass Primitive Road across the Sangro de Cristo Mountains but we didn’t get up there at all.


We’ve been told that the creek can be quite full at different times but right now it’s so dry, it’s just a trickle and some mud. My dry shoes were very happy we didn’t have to fjord rushing water.


We visited here with a small group of friends we met as part of the Xscapers SoCo Convergence. Xscapers is an RV lifestyle group for nomadic RVers. Last year we joined the first convergence at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. They have had two other convergences since, in Quartzsite, and at the 56th Escapade, in Essex Junction, VT. We’re going to be missing the next event in Albuquerque but are registered for the Coachella Convergence in April and are seriously considering the 57th Escapade in Tucson, AZ in March.


This lady couldn’t figure out how to retract her leash and she was really stressed. “Hold on! OH NO! I can’t figure this stupid thing out! Oh I’m so sorry! This is just horrible!” In the meantime the two dogs got all excited and wrapped their leashes around eachother. It was a fun mess to watch.


Looking across the sand plain to the dunes.


Looking back towards the mountains. Becky striking a pose.


At the store outside the park gates, they rent stand up sand boards and sit down sand sleds for $20 per day. Our group rented two sand sleds.


This is Spirit, a sweet natured, and very playful husky that belongs to our group. This is one of the few National Parks we’ve found to allow dogs, so there are quite a few of them. We opted to leave Teddy and Nacho behind since Nacho is still causing trouble with any other dog other than Teddy.

I feel bad dissing my little demon child dog who I adore, but I was planning for him to have a timid, meek disposition like Toonie had, like this sweet little girl has. Just like with kids, you can’t pick personalities. You get what you get. We just have to figure out how to deal with his huge personality.


Our group, minus Harold and I.


A few of us decided to head further up onto the dune.


The higher you get, the less people you have to contend with, however, it got quite narrow, with hot gusts of wind interspaced with cool ones. The sand shifted across the path in scintillating shivers. I took off my sunglasses, thinking I’d be able to see better, but it was so bright, I cried out. “Wow! So bright!”


Looking down at the crowds beneath us.


This little guy was in heaven here, with the warm sun and sand enveloping him.

We left a little earlier than the rest of the group. Wine tasting at this great little winery 3 miles up the highway was calling us. We picked up two really good wines, a red blend and a Zinfandel.