Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Road Trip - Day #4

Total Mileage: 197 miles
Total number of "time outs": 2
Total elk seen today: 6
Total times we prayed before we drove: 5
Total John Denver songs played: 8
Total medium pizzas consumed: 1

Our adventure continues... this time to Great Sand Dunes National Park. What an amazing park! This is the view from the road heading up there. Again, if you are in the area, definitely stop by this place. It is so cool and so much fun!! It really looks out of place.

We started out hiking a trail first... right outside of the sand dunes. It totally beat the trails we've been to in Texas. Junior ranger Austin led the way. Not a bump, scrape or bruise. Again, we're proud of our kiddos for paying attention. James thought we were nuts for putting on bug spray. Guess who's itching tonight. :)

There were birds and bugs we have never seen, a creek with a small waterfall, and lots of interesting rocks. We were tempted to take some home, but since it's a National Park we left them there.

If you look closely you can see the dunes in the background.

They had so much fun exploring. The birds were giving us lots of beautiful background music. And we all had a great time on the hike.

On a bridge over a really cool stream.

Next stop: the sand dunes. To get to the dunes you had to cross some water. It's very cold, but felt great between the toes... We all took our shoes off and walked across. Everybody but Austin put their shoes back on after the water. What a mountain man.

This beats Galveston by about 500 percent. A few of the spots had pretty quick running water, but that did not stop our kids.

There was no way we could make it to the top like these people (obviously they did NOT have kiddos). We can't say enough good things about our national park system. This was an unbelievable experience. One day we'll hike all the way to the top.

Onward we went to the first few dunes. Notice how far Austin was ahead. He could not get enough of this place.

Look how steep this is (and how cool of a picture this is??). Austin was fearless in the sand. When you get to the top, the wind pelts you with sand and it's a little painful. Not one complaint from this group.

Austin went up 7 times, James went up 3 times (once by himself, and once with each girl). His heart was beating out of his chest, but he had something to prove to the girls. The girls and I made it up one time each. It was so much fun sliding back down! Sand, sand everywhere...

In the afternoons, they say that the sand temperature reaches 140 degrees. That's actually a good thing since the air temp was a little chilly.

Here's Emily giving back...

God is great. This was an awesome experience.

Here's our little sand princess.

By the way, kids get in this place free. For all of us, it was a total of $6. Money well spent!

After the sand dunes we headed to our next stop, Canon City, CO. I discovered a fitness center - bonus! I got some much needed cardio, since I haven't taken a class since last Thursday, then we took the kiddos to the pool and came back and watched some AFV. Four nights, four hotels. And so far we're having a blast!