Our experience of the Great Sand Dunes can pretty much be summed up in two words: mosquitoes and sand. With that said, we’ve also had some neat experiences. We camped on the dunes last night (Tuesday, July 12). It took about an hour and a half to hike to a camping spot. That is NOT fun in the sand. We were also hiking to a much higher elevation and I began to feel a little sick again so when we finally made it to a camping spot, I basically laid there for the rest of the evening. We also had a misunderstanding about the sunscreen so we didn’t have any and we hiked out across the DESERT at 2:30 in the afternoon with no sunscreen, hats, sunglasses or windbreakers… The three of us are completely red from sunburn, windburn and tiny little particles of sand that beat against our shins the entire time we were hiking. We look a little bit like lobsters.
On the positive side, we did see two sets of bear tracks near the creek (about 1/2 a mile away from where we camped). We’ve also seen a coyote, lots of mule deer, elk, a few Peregrine Falcons… I really enjoy the variety of wildlife here.
Today we packed up camp around 5:30 – 6:00 a.m. and left the dunes. Our first stop was the Walgreens in a nearby town to buy lip balm for our very chapped lips.