Saturday, August 01, 2009

Weekend Camping with Grandmama

We haven’t done any major traveling this summer, but we did spend a weekend out with Grandmama and her trailer down at the Great Sand Dunes National Park a week ago. I had a computer ‘malfunction’ because of a virus last weekend after we got back (which required a total system redo- that SO did not make me happy!) so I haven’t had much time to do anything with the photos I took, but I got this first layout done today with a few of them. GreatSandDunes_7-24-09 journaling: The Great Sand Dunes is a place of contradictions & beauty- hot desert sand hundreds of feet high, alpine mountains that stand guard behind them, streams and lakes of cool water to splash and play in, and all kinds of plants, animals & insects to view, if you take the time to look. We spent the weekend with Grandmama exploring and learning about this unique environment. Mark, Bryce, Beth, & Carissa climbed to the top of High Dune while Linda, Melinda, Brenna & Sarah played in the sand & stream while following their progress up the hill of sand with the binoculars.

Credits: everything from scrapbookgraphics: Amazing Moments by Bluebell Designs; Little Details by Hillary Heidleberg; Styles: Sand Brush by Wendyzine; Plain Jane Alpha by Birgit Kerr (retired);
fonts: CK Becky

Mark and the three older kids spent most of their time out on the dunes climbing to the top of High Dune- the big peak you see in all of the photos. I have pictures of them working their way to the top and down again, but as they are tiny little specks even with my lens zoomed all the way out I need to come up with a creative way to scrap them. While they were hiking up the dunes, Grandmama, the younger two girls and I sat near Medano Creek and enjoyed the water, sand and sun. Brenna and Sarah reveled in the fact that they could get dirty and wet and it was OK. I think we were cleaning sand out of Sarah’s cracks and crevices for three days before we finally got it all LOL They all had fun, and I think learned something about a unique environment found only in this one spot in the world. We all came home covered in itchy bug bites, but that is pretty typical of camping ;)

Here are a few more pictures from the weekend.

Grandmama’s Pilot and Trailer at the San Luis Lake campground. Mark I decided to skip trying to sleep in the back of the pilot and went to Alamosa and got a hotel room ;) Grandmama toughed it out with all of the kids in the trailer.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-14
The only picture I have of ‘me’ from the sand dunes- my footprint in the sand of Medano Creek.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-32 Brenna and Sarah making angels in the sand.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-43 2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-44
High Dune- the one Mark and the big kids climbed. They are at the top of it in this picture- the little black spots up there on the peak.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-49 and a little closer, though you still can’t tell exactly which is them. In some of the other pics I have of them climbing the dune you can make out the color of their clothing and thus tell who is who.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-49b The singing ranger was doing a presentation a little ways away from where we were sitting by the creek. “This sand is your sand, this sand is my sand, from the Rio Grande to the Sangre de Cristo, this sand was made for you and me.” (come on, you know you were singing along too!)2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-62 Sarah and Brenna looking at the scale map of the park in the visitor center. Sarah is standing right behind the dunes at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-71 Eating lunch at the picnic area.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-88
After lunch we decided to hike up to Zapata Falls. You follow a rocky streambed up to this crack in the mountain, where you have to hike in the stream for a little ways. The falls is just through the crack you can see Bryce standing in front of.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-94
Once you go into the crack, this is what you see- the upper part of the falls, and the lower part near where you stand. This is mountain water, so it was quite chilly!2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-96 2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-103 After dinner that night, we drove around San Luis Lake to see if we could spot the white pelicans that like to nest on the lake. There were a few- they are the white spots on the opposite shore near the left edge of the picture. You can probably see them if you look at the full-size version of the picture by clicking on it.
The wind was blowing quite hard this evening, and we discovered that these little blue and black dragonflies were hiding from the wind by hanging onto the down-wind side of some small bushes. They were quite pretty!2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-133

Saturday on our way home, we stopped at Fort Garland to see the Fort Garland Museum. It was a nice little museum. It is put together and maintained solely by volunteers and I have to say that I was impressed with all that they have accomplished to date. The fort is set up as it was during the time Kit Carson was its commander, and there are displays that showcase the role the fort has played during the different periods of its history. Most of the pictures I took are of the exhibits, but here are a few broader shots of the fort and a couple of the larger displays.2009_0725_FortGarland-104 The commandants quarters.2009_0725_FortGarland-42 The enlisted men’s barracks.2009_0725_FortGarland-77 2009_0725_FortGarland-94 2009_0725_FortGarland-98


Anonymous Suzanne said...

Hi Melinda,

I noticed that you made a comment on one of the giveaways I set up for Living Rooms Direct and was wondering if you would be interested in working together. If so, I would love to work with you on either a giveaway, a product review, or a guest post on your site. I look forward to hearing back from you!

Take care,

Suzanne Turnbull
Prudential Tower
800 Boylston Street, Suite 1600
Boston, MA 02199

2:17 PM  

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