Day 17 - July 1, 2010
Odometer reads: 4468 miles
After a rough day, we allowed ourselves to sleep in until 10:30. Checked out and got some sandwiches to stuff in the cooler, then headed to the sand dunes! As we approached the dunes, they looked small compared to the looming mountain range behind them; but as soon as we got within a mile or two, their size was apparent. The tallest dune stands about 800 feet high, and as we looked at them from the visitor center we could see tiny, needle-point sized people climbing them (click the picture and you may be able to see them). We stocked up on water and batteries for the camera and took off for the top. Smalls led the way, and Kat did her best to keep up... walking in sand never seemed so hard at the beach. After a strenuous hour and a half, we sat on top of the tallest dune looking out over an ocean of sand and the hike was plainly worth it. Stayed up there for awhile and rested, dumping sand out of our shoes and talking with a nice Colorado Springs family.
We made our way down the sandy slopes and back to the car to down a few Gatorades and get on the road towards Denver. Made the joyous discovery that Colorado has 7-11's! So naturally we had to get slurpees. We both decided that the drive was a bit far for the day, so we found another desert oasis, Pueblo Lake State Park. This place was obviously the place to be for July 4th weekend - hundreds of people had reservations, but we squeezed into a site for the night. We played with the tarp for awhile, worrying that it might rain and puddle up in our tent, but eventually gave up, had a beer and got ready for bed. Watched Will & Grace for a couple hours and fell asleep.