I was told by a brother, Neal, and, by Pat, that the Great Sand Dunes are worth seeing.
Normally, I have blitzed by them, following I-25 all the way to Denver. On this trip to Creede, Colorado, close to Alamosa, I take a side trip to see the big piles of sand from a different side.
The dunes get bigger as I drive from the highway deeper into the National Monument.There appears no reason for the dunes to be here amid more natural junipers, high desert grass, cactus. It is, as if, a celestial construction crew got wrong work orders and dumped truckload after truckload of sand until some angel woke up and cancelled the order. In New Mexico, we have our White Sands National Monument, but none of those dunes are as tall as these. Here, the sand hills seem out of place, but, nature doesn’t make mistakes.
At the National Monument visitor center, there are photos, posters, and displays to educate those who want to be educated. Visitors can climb the dunes by following a path out to them from the visitor center. You take off your shoes before you reach the dunes and wade across a little stream. Visitors, who are hiking up the dunes, look like ants trying to touch the lazy white drifting clouds and, for a quarter, you can watch them through telescopes mounted on an outside patio fence.
Not staying long, I get back on the road to Creede, Colorado.
I’m guessing, even if I don’t see the dunes again, this would be one of the first places a tour of cats, from Japan ,would stop and spend an entire day.
Leaving the sand piles behind, I put my attention towards getting to Hermit’s Lakes, Colorado.
Next time, there will be more time here to take off my shoes and climb these sand mountains, my feet and toes sinking deep as I struggle to move higher.
It will be dark when I get to Hermit’s Lake and they will be expecting me.
Even retirement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get where you say you are going to be, when you say you are going to be there.
Seeing cats going down these hills on boogie boards would be amazing.