Sand Dunes National Park (Amy only)

So the first thing to note about this post is that it isn’t really a “Jeb and Amy Adventure”. My dad ended up visiting the same weekend that Jeb’s mom was in town, so we were mostly apart for the weekend doing different things with our visitors. The other thing to note is that a lot of these pictures are my dad’s, a few are Natalie’s, and a couple are my own.

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I convinced my dad that we should go down to Sand Dunes National Park for the day. It is about 3 hours from Natalie and Bret’s house, so a little bit of a long day trip. But definitely one of the most unique places in Colorado!

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Here in Colorado we happen to have the tallest sand dunes in North America.The tallest sand dune actually stands over 755 feet high! That is a crazy tall pile of sand!

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I love how the shadows look in the sand during this time of the day. Jeb and I have been here once before, but I am always excited to be back. You can actually get a backcountry permit to camp and spend the night right out on the sand dunes. This is something we will definitely have to come back and do. What a soft and comfortable place to sleep!

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Unfortunately my dad is always behind the camera and I completely forgot to make sure we got one that he is actually in 🙁 Bummer! Here is the rest of the crew though, Aurora included!

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We rented two sand boards and 1 sand sled to take up on the dunes and try out. I have sand boarded once before and I thought it was a ton of fun and such a unique thing to do!

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One of my favorite things about sand dunes national park is that there are huge mountains all around it providing for a really beautiful backdrop. Someone asked me whether I like White Sands National Monument better or Sand Dunes National Park. I really can’t decide between the two. This park is so neat for the mountains and the sheer height of the dunes, but white sands is so beautiful because of the pure white color of the sand. Both worth going to for sure!

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The ridge lines of the sand dunes look really cool. Here is the three of us (and Aurora) headed up further while my dad and Ning stay down lower to take pictures of us.

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Hiking up sand dunes is surprisingly insanely exhausting. It is always difficult to walk on deep loose sand, but it is especially hard to go uphill on it. You tend to feel like you are sliding more backwards with each step you take as opposed to actually making forward progress.

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We didn’t go as high as I would have liked to have gone if we had more time. But this time of the year it gets dark so early, so we were fighting the daylight. Even still we went high enough to get great views and still have an opportunity to use our boards.

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Here we are headed down!

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Not the easiest thing to carry and hike with, but so much fun! At some point I am going to have to try out snowboarding too, based off of how much fun this is!

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Natalie had a little accident on the sand sled with Aurora in tow. She got pretty sandy! After spitting up sand and having it all in her eyes and nose, she eventually cheered back up. But what a sandy baby she was for the whole rest of the day!

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Before we left I told Bret he and I had to sandboard down something very steep that completely terrified us lol. So we did it. We hiked up this dune to a spot that was very steep.

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The advantage of staying late in the day was that we caught a really pretty sunset.

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Getting ready to head down. Neither of us made it all the way down without wiping out. But we both did better than I thought we would. And most importantly no one got hurt!

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My dad took these really pretty sand dune sunset pictures.

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Gotta love the beautiful Colorado weather!

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We were also there late enough to watch the moon rise!

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Afterwards we had a really yummy dinner at the San Luis Valley Brewery. One thing definitely would have made this day way better… if Jeb could have been there!

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