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. The other problem this time of year would be the mosquitos. 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.
Quick, a group picture before they take off again…
Kayla was loving the water as it was just the perfect depth for her to play in. Sydney would let Kayla cover her in sand and then wash it away to give her a new canvas. Syd was also in charge of making sure Kayla didn’t eat the sand but as you can see that was soon a lost cause. Sometimes you just gotta let babies be babies.
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.
The look of pure joy!
It wasn’t long before Sydney started showing off her hand standing skills.
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.
While all this was going on Daddy was running up to the top of the dunes. Sydney decided to make him a message in the sand to see if he could see it from the top.
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.
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.