Everyone has a story to tell, here's mine sprinkled with some creative projects along the way.
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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Sand Dunes *Family Adventure*

Hello friends. I'm going to break up all of the crafty posts with a recap of a recent camping trip that my family and I took over Memorial Day weekend. It was a bit last minute but with a three day weekend plus having a free pass to national parks this year because of our fourth grader, we couldn't pass it up.

We started our adventure on Saturday morning. We got a little bit delayed because we got caught in a long traffic through a certain part of the canyon right after passing Canyon City. Apparently there was a head on collision in one of the bends between two vehicles and a FedEx truck. We were in a stand still for about 45 minutes. Luckily the wait didn't seem too long, we had a good amount of Starburst in the car to keep everyone happy and the view was beautiful all around.

After the accident was cleared, we got back on the road and headed to our camp site. The weekend before, Marcus' scout troop went on a camping trip to Sand Dunes and Mitch found out that the guys camped at a free site an hour away from the dunes. We tried it and found our camping spot just in a nick of time. It was somewhat packed with fellow weekend campers/trailer users. The area where we camped is also used for ATVs so we had some of that noise going around. We didn't care much though as it wasn't too obnoxious.

After setting up the tent, eating our lunch and securing other camping items, we took the truck and did some 4x4 driving through the trails. Exploring in the truck is definitely an easier way than hiking. :)

After our exploration we went back to camp, started the fire and placed our foil dinner on top of the campfire. We had high hopes for the dinner but it took forever and we almost lost some hamburger meat in the fire because we were trying to flip it on the grill. The family made a decision that foil dinners won't be part of our camping menu next time.

After dinner, we roasted some marshmallow and had some smores. This one is a staple of our camping trips and everyone looks forward to it.

This was the first time that our little guy had smores and you can tell with his smile above that this is going to be a part of his fave camping traditions too.

The two older kids decided to explore a bit near our campsite. Our site was near a very steep part of the hill and they decided to climb that up. Well on the way back down, Maddie tripped on some rocks and did some tumbling all the way to a big bush. She ended up getting some gashes on her face, wrists and hip. Definitely her least favorite part of the trip.

It was a cold night but we endured it. The following morning, Mitch and I got up early and started our breakfast. After eating, we got on the road and headed south to the Sand Dunes National Park. I heard from a friend that it was best to get their early so that you can have a good parking spot. We ended up not getting a spot in the parking lot but we managed to get a spot in the nearby picnic area.

Our plan was to hike the dunes first, play in the water a bit, have lunch and then explore the rest of the park.

Not soon after we started our hike did we realize that there were a lot of people in this area too. I guess that's what you get when you visit this park during a holiday weekend. We all hiked up to the second tallest peak and then we let the boys go on the highest peak.

The photo above shows Marcus on the top peak. It's amazing for me to know that these giant hills of sand are surrounded by mountains. See the peak of that mountain behind Marcus? It is still snow capped!

And here's another view from the top. Mitch took the pictures.

When they got back to where the rest of us were, we took some quick photos and then headed back down to the water.

One fun part of the hike is having to go through the water. There was no other way to go around, so we had to take our shoes off. The water was actually very refreshing after doing the climb up the dunes.

The weather in the morning was beautiful. There was some wind, but not so bad that it ruined our time. But we were all getting hungry from the hike so we went back to our car and had lunch.

When we got back to the water, the wind started to pick up again and we could see the dark clouds looming over us.

The kids enjoyed the water, mostly to play in the mud and Mason was so enthralled with everything that he didn't even mind shaking because of the cold wind and water.

After a few big blows of the wind, we decided to pack up and soon after we left, the rain came. It took us a long time just to get out of the parking lot because of the amount of people trying to leave as well. It was so bad that we decided to just leave the park all together. We didn't even get to go see the falls on the other side of the park.

When we got back to our campsite, we had dinner, played some card games, had some more smores and then went to bed.

The following day, we got up, had breakfast, got warmed up with another campfire and then started getting everything packed up.

One thing that we did have to deal with was ticks. It was no fun for everyone. We were vigilant enough that it didn't stick to anyone but Mason. Thankfully we got it before it did any major damage. This was definitely one of the "low" parts of our trip.

Other than that, we had fun! We just wished we had more time (and less crowd) at the Sand Dunes. But since it's not that far from us (about three hour drive) then we will try to get back there sometime soon.

If you've read all the way through, thanks for being here.

I hope to do a family update post sometime soon too. There's been lots of stories to tell and not enough time to document them.

Till next time,

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great trip! It is one of my favorite parts of the state! Our daughter went to college near there so we visited the area often! CONGRATS on making it to the top - that's a big triumph! Do go back and visit Zapatta Falls they so much fun!