The next stop on the Fuller 2010 RV vacation would be to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We decided to stay at the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool & RV Park in Hooper which was about 20 minutes from the National Park. They had their own huge 100+ degree hot spring pool which we figured the kids would enjoy. Which they did but they also found plenty of time to complain about how the pool was too hot. The actual RV park mounted up to a glorified parking lot but the pool was our main purpose for the stay. We swam in the pool for a good 4 hours and then cooked a nice dinner in the RV and called it a night.
The next morning we packed up our home on wheels and made the short drive over to the Sand Dunes. These things were much larger then I had expected. You could see them for miles.
There is a stream that flows at the base of the dunes starting in the spring time. As the summer approaches the water flow slowly diminishes until it is gone completely. We knew we would be nearing the low flow period but this was the only time of year we could come. We had about 2 inches of water compared to the knee to thigh high water around Memorial Day. But, this didn’t slow down the girls one bit. They still put swimsuits on and made the most of what water they had all while having a blast. The other problem this time of year would be the mosquitoes. They live in the brush around the stream and are relentless this time of year. As long as you stayed up river and covered yourself in OFF you were good.
Sydney and Reagan ran around for a good two hours in the stream acting like crazy ladies. They would splash each other, cover each other in the wet sand, and mostly play chase. Reagan seemed to be a new kid at this place. She was throwing muddy sand and covering herself in muck. It was nice to see her give in to being dirty for once. She loved it!
Quick, a group picture before they take off again…
Pretty soon the kids realized that there was more to this place than water. They were also surrounded by sand. So they took the game of chase onto the wet sand.
What else is wet sand good for? Drawing, of course. The girls grabbed sticks and were writing all sorts of love messages and pictures in the sand.
Soon Daddy was back and he pulled out the big guns. The girls had gotten metal detectors for Christmas and Dad remembered to pack them along for just this occasion. We didn’t think there would be too much buried treasure here so he buried a few coins around us just to be safe.
At one point in the afternoon Reagan needed a break and came to sit under the umbrella with Kayla and I. I looked over and saw this on her face. For some reason it cracked me up. She was so sweet and innocent looking. But had this huge smudge on her face. After taking the picture I told her what was going on and she about cried from embarrassment. So I of course felt bad immediately. I think the day had worn this kiddo out.
We ate lunch on the sand under our umbrella and played in the sand for most of the day. Daddy and the girls made a trek out to the dunes but the dry sand was too hot to enjoy them too much. A ranger came by for a kid info session. They learned how the dunes were made and what kind of weird creatures made this their home. They even completed their workbooks to be inducted as junior rangers. And that was pretty much our day. Here are a few more of my favorite pictures. They were just to beautiful to leave out. Hope you think so as well.
My absolute favorite picture of the day.
It is probably worth noting that the hills above us were being consumed by a three week long forest fire. The day before the sky was completely blanketed with smoke as we swam in the hot springs pool. Fortunately the winds had died down for our day at the Dunes. But you were constantly reminded by the fire every time you looked up. It was cool to be so close yet be so safe.
We stopped to take one more picture on our way out of the park. I think its safe to say we’ll be back. Probably even next Memorial Day weekend. We’d like to see the park while the stream is heavier. Until then.
Our video at Great Sand Dunes National Park.