Great Sands National Park

We headed out for breakfast and this time sat inside since it had rained the night before. They really had everything. Freshly baked bread, grapefruit, freshly squeezed OJ, fluffy egg muffins, vegan sausage, Manchego cheese, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, crunchies and much more. Thomas said it was his favorite breakfast so far on the trip. It was probably the most European. We went back to the room and packed everything up. I put a little makeup on and the only dress I brought for this trip. I wanted to take some pictures in the yellow flower field on the way out of town. We stopped and took the pics, then headed further to the Rio Grand Bridge. That was something. What a high bridge. You can hardly bear to look down it’s so high up. There were a bunch of mountain goats running through the cliffs. We even saw a small family, mama, papi and baby. It was a magnificent site to see. We proceeded along the road to see the Earthships. They were these amazing self sustainable houses not connected to the city power or water, created out of recycled materials. They reused their water like 5 times to fertilize their plants, wash their hands, etc. it was really interesting to learn about and see something. The community had about 100 people living on the 180 acres of land. Thomas did a tour to learn more about them. He came back clutching a floorplan and wanting to attend the workshop on how to build an earth ship. We proceeded further. We had a couple stops. We looked at this wierd castle house that looked like a spaceship built out of all recycled materials with signs acknowledging Jesus Christ. Apparently the guy told him that God told him to build it. We saw a town with a club called, “the Golden Nugget” written sloppily across the top of the building in yellow letters. We arrived in Alamosa intime for a late lunch. We were all hungry and there was a Chilis. So we stopped there for a nice lunch break. Thomas had a margarita in a soda pop glass (as I was the driver) while Charlie and I ate chips and salsa. It was delicious and definitely comfort food. With full bellies we headed on to get Thomas an iced Americano from Starbucks. We drove out of the cute town of Almamosa and towards the beautiful mountain backdrop of Colorado. It was about an hour to get to the Dunes.

As we approached closer and closer we could see the beauty of the mountains in the background and then the sand dunes in front. It looked so out of place, as if God was shoveling sand and dropped a big load in front of the mountains and decided to just leave it there. From far away they looked like plains of sand. When we got closer to them, they looked like enormous mountains of sand. We drove to the Great Sand Dunes Lodge across from the Dunes. We checked into our room, a double queen and set up Charlie’s bed and unpacked the things we needed. We took a rest and gathered ourselves before heading out again. We were going to go check out the sand dunes. Thomas had the idea to rent the boards at night from our hotel because we didn’t have to return them til the next day in case we wanted to go in the morning as well. We headed to the Great National Park with high hopes and expectations. The guy warned us to bring plenty of water. We brought one bottle per person. We parked our car and headed out. It was super far to walk to just get to the bottom of the dunes. We had to even cross a water bank with moving water. So we all took off our shoes and walked through the ankle deep water to the other side. There was still another 200 meters or so wil we reached the base of the dunes. At this point Charlie was crying so Thomas put Charlie on his shoulders, and carried the boards. He hiked up that sand mountain to the first plateau like a proper Swiss Man. He deposited Charlie and I with the sand board sled and asked if he could go further up. I tried to get information about how far he was going to go up or when he would be back, but he was just like, “you will see me! Don’t worry! Byeeeee!” I just shook my head, and thought, “men!” It was like he was on a playground. So I attempted the first time going down the sand mountain with Charlie on the sled board. We got stuck, we didn’t actually even move at all. I had to scoot us with my bottom. So we climbed half way back up the hill to the top and took a break watching others. When a family came by I asked them if they were pros or if they knew the tips on how it worked. This guy told me the trick was to wax the bottom of the bird. He gave me the rest of his wax. I waxed up the board and tried again. This time Charlie and I flew down the hill like a sled on snow. Wooooosh! He was giggling the whole way down. We climbed back up the hill and this time a lady nearby said she would film us. So many people said to us this trip, “I remember when my kids were that age. It goes so fast.” So Charlie and I climbed back up that hill. We took a water break at the top. We watched some more people, I waxed the bird again and then we decided to go down one more time. This time at the bottom Charlie didn’t want to go back up to the top. He kept sitting down and saying, “break” I decided we were done going down. It was too much effort to carry the board and him being 5 months pregnant. So we sat at the top and looked for Papi. It was getting late, and when I looked up the mountain I had no idea which one was Thomas. He had tried to call so I called him back. I asked where he was and he said he was going to go to the top. I was like, “what???” I told him to be careful. About 10 minutes later, the sun started to set and the wind immediately started blowing like crazy. I got worried about Thomas being on the top with the sand blowing. I knew Charlie and I should slowly start heading back as we had a long walk back. So we set out to go back, but Sweet Charlie kept planting himself in the sand saying, “no wait for papi!” I was starting to get mad carrying this board, and our shoes and trying to get Charlie to walk all this distance back. Somehow we got down the hill and came to the water bank. Now that the sun was down, it was cold and the cold water on our feet made Charlie start crying. Now I was really getting mad at Thomas for leaving me with a screaming toddler, my board and I was worried if he was even ok. So I decided to call him and let him know. He was at the top of the mountain now he said. I told him to hurry up and get down, Charlie was screaming and we still needed to get his milk before 8 pm. I carried Charlie to the foot washing station and then we put our shoes back on. He stopped to cry once his shoes were back on. We went to the car which thankfully I had the keys with me. We got in and warmed up, waiting for a Thomas. Around 7:45 Thomas showed up thankfully at our car with his tail between his legs. He opened the door immediately apologizing. I ignored it and went into my speech I had prepared about how worried I was and then about how I had to deal with Charlie and the board all my myself and I was 5 months pregnant. We made it home with 1 minute to get Charlie milk before the lodge closed down. Thomas ran and got it. The pizza place was closed and there was no other restaurants open nearby but we had Chilis leftovers and we had 2 boxes of ramen noodles. We boiled some water on the small kitchenette we had and made the ramen noodles for dinner.

After dinner we have Charlie a bath (full of sand) and put him down to sleep. We snuck out of the room to go look at the stars. I told Thomas I forgave him but I was just worried about him and when Charlie started crying it really stressed me. Then Thomas told me that he was really grateful he had that opportunity to climb to the top of the sand mountain because he thought about things on the way up to the top and he kept wanting to go further and explore more. He told me he wanted to go for the green card. We talked about the pros and cons a bit more, even though we have already exhausted that list many times. Then we joked about seeing an alien walk by in little gray pants while we were stargazing. And I pretty much called it a night. I was exhausted. All this sandboarding and being pregnant took it all out of me.