We met up with Bob and Sharon yesterday here in Alamosa. The mission is to see the Great Sand Dune National Park. Bob has flown over the park many, many times on his routes back east for Northwest, and he wanted to see it up close.
The dunes formed from an ancient lake bed between the Sangre de Christos mountains and the San Juan mountains. There is a perfect vortex of winds here that keep the dunes in place and keep reshaping them.
All those little ants are people walking out toward the Great Dune, which is 650’ high, or thereabouts, depending on the direction of the winds and and mood its in.
We didn’t hike up to the top. We were very glad that it rained last night, so the sand was relatively firm and easy to walk on. Some people had sleds and were having great fun sliding down the face of the dunes. It was the climbing back up that was killer!
Some areas of the sand dunes were marked in patterns of dry and damp sand, or in ripples that looked like water.
Our conclusion: It’s sand. It’s in big, big dunes. Kind of cool, lots of hard work.
After we did the dunes, we drove up the mountain to Zapata Falls. To get there we had a half-mile hike, and in a reverse of the normal order of events, the hike was uphill at the beginning instead of at the end, when we’re really tired.
At the end of the trail was an icy, icy stream that we had to go wading in to find the falls. The dogs seemed to like it, and after our feet got numb, we were okay with it too. Refreshing! And the falls were well worth the hike and wade. The stream ended in a cave and we could hear the roaring water. As we walked into the cave we saw a small waterfall. We had to get right to the splash at the bottom of the little fall to see the rest.
It was a great hike, but I did feel sorry for all the other people we passed as we hiked back down the trail who had on their good hiking shoes and didn’t read the information that said to bring water shoes.