Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sandblasted in the Dunes

We had decided to try and save enough of our tax money to make a trip to Colorado, after fixing the trucks of course. Our method was pretty much throwing a dart at the map and trying to keep the rig on the Eastern side of the Rockies. After enduring long and slow inclines in SD Ol’ Blue had taught us that she doesn’t like the high altitudes with that much of a load on her. Walsenburg ended up being the only one with a campground that was open; the catch was that the water wouldn’t be cut on for a few more weeks due to the steady below freezing temps. This was close enough to a direct pass into the valley to suit our tourist needs, a whopping 7000’ above sea level; the highest I had been in my lifetime. We were looking at land and what it would take to relocate to the San Luis Valley. It quickly became somewhere I personally wouldn’t want to live full time; it was way too cold and windy for my tastes.

     The RV Park ended up being like most of the ones in the area; attached to a motel, in a one horse town with only the essentials needed to survive. April 20th was the day we landed in Walsenburg, National Smoker’s Day in a state it was legal to smoke in; I’m sure a lot envied us. What I didn’t envy was the snow and sleet we awoke to the following morning. Our storage tanks for the gray/black waters had frozen solid, the only fresh water we had was a 5 gallon refillable water jug. This was definitely not my idea of fun times in Colorado.

the desert in the middle of the mountains
      On one of our journeys into the valley we visited the National Sand Dunes Park. After renting a board and spending $20 that we truly didn’t have, we were ready to conquer the dunes. There just so happened to be a storm brewing in the northwest and moving in on us. We quickly realized how the sand dunes were formed upon stepping out of the truck; we were sandblasted! This was how the dunes changed every day and climbed to a towering height of 700 feet. The lil one was singing a happy song on the ride into the park; after digging sand that was forced into every crevice (including our noses), the tune quickly turned hateful.
This was not the list of ‘must visit again’ places. We gained the lifetime experience of sledding down the dunes and those memories can never be taken away.
      The owners of the hotel let us shower in an empty room. I’m thankful they did, we would’ve been really stinky after a week there with frozen tanks. Only an hour away was some old neighbors we had met in Florida; a trip to their sticks and bricks made for an easy afternoon. The lil one got to feed a few alpacas while visiting her old friends we had come to call ‘The Colorado Kids’.
      After a week of roughing it and gathering the info needed to relocate, it was time for us to head south so our tanks could thaw out. Naively we planned on taking a different route out than we did to get in. with our route planned it was time to pack and move again, this time through New Mexico for a brief moment and back across the plains. We were trying to get a little closer to home for a bit and enjoy some family time and relaxation, not to mention a babysitter; we only have those very few times a year.

Until next time….

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.    ~John Lubbock

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