Great Sand Dunes
The wind whipped through the desert hurling dirt blizzard-like across our windshield and lodging a tumbleweed into the front bumper of our car. The road stretched before us, desolate. Noel and I looked at each other wondering aloud whether this was a good idea or not. As we drew nearer, the dunes appeared, surprising all of us with their magnificence. Still, when we stopped at the entrance to Great Sand Dunes National Park to take a picture even the kids were scrambling to get out of the wind and back into the safety of the car.
We saw a lot of unhappy people sitting in their vehicles as we looped through the campground in search of our campsite. Noel and I wrestled the tent together, staking every corner at least twice before finding secure holds that wouldn’t let the tent turn into a kite. Meanwhile, the children honked the horn, turned on the hazard lights, and found a permanent marker to draw all over the car with. Fortunately, we do our best to not own things that are valuable.
Noel performed miracles with our charcoal chimney and we were able to fill our bellies with tinfoil dinners and cobbler before we zipped the kids into bed. The wind died down just in time for Noel and I to enjoy some alone time by the fire.
By morning the children had managed to wriggle out of their sleep pods. We each adopted one for a few extra minutes of snuggle time to warm them up before making another delicious dutch oven meal.
We packed up camp while the children chased chipmunks and periodically tried to run away and join other families. It was a good thing we’d camped because the parking lot at the dunes was already close to full when we arrived.
The children unhappily submitted themselves to being sunscreened, but their despair disappeared when we walked through the trees and showed them the small stream with its sandy beaches.
We’d wanted to explore the dunes themselves, but the children were having so much fun we decided to save that for another day and just basked on the “beach” instead.
We were all sad to say goodbye since our time there was less than 24 hours, but it will give us motivation to go back. We often wonder if we’ve lost our minds when we load up our little family and all our gear to go on trips like this, especially since all that preparation usually gets us at least halfway to crazy. So far though, we’re glad we’re still trying do the things we loved before the little people came along. And truthfully, we think they love it too.
2 thoughts on “Great Sand Dunes”
Seth would be in heaven! I just realized your blog didn’t make the switch with the rest when I stopped using google reader, but we’re back in business!
Looks like a fun trip. That’s exactly what we think when we do trips like that. Is it really worth it–all the packing and preparing, then cleaning and smokey laundry afterwards, just for one night? Yep, it probably really is. 🙂