The drive up into the highlands of Colorado was amazing. From New Mexico, I stopped in Taos and then continued up to Great Sand Dunes National Park. The most amazing part of the day was the silence in the park. There were some crowds there but there are a lot of dunes. The wind carries sound. But if you find the right place, sit in the sand, close your eyes, you can feel why the Navajo considered it a sacred place, the beginning of life and an energy point.
It was a bad day starting out with technical difficulties and the drives up the initial roads didn’t help. There is a video that I’ll post of me cursing. Going under the speed limit? PULL OVER!
But it’s the drives that get me out of my head or maybe into my head. Just the change in scenery as the miles go by, so unlike anything you can see while flying.
The first stop was Taos, New Mexico. It began as a small artist colony. Like the rest of America, it’s being hit hard. Lack of tourism. But I found a pottery shop that just opened up. There is hope and as the owner put it, you have to keep moving forward.
Then the drive up and up into Colorado. The views as you travel up into the mountains along a river and through valleys is just stunning. Videos are coming. I hope. I did manage to get my GoPro reconnected so hopefully I’ll get better shots today as I make my way from Colorado Springs to Snowmass, avoiding the forest fires so I have to take the long route around.
Twisty scenic roads turned into straight highway as far as the eye could see as I made my way to Great Sand Dunes National Park. It’s usually not on the “to do” list of National Park goers, but it is stunning. As always, I wish I could have spent more time there. I was going to try to take the “primitive road” out of the park but I was smart enough to talk to a park ranger about it. He said a 4 wheel drive is necessary. I pointed out my all wheel drive Outback. He replied, with a laugh, “I pull them out all day long.”
As always, there is a lot more to see and do. I need to slow down. But I did hike up into the dunes with the sand sledders and trudged away from the groups to be on my own. I realized a couple things. I don’t like hiking in sand. The heat that everybody else was complaining about did not bother me at all. I need to prepare better with water, back pack and proper shoes. The silence is deafening.
I was going to try walking to the top but found myself settling down to just sit and enjoy the silence. With the winds, it was cool. When the winds shifted to carry sound away, you were completely alone. I breathed it in. Settled into myself. Let go. And found something beautiful.
But then it was time to trudge back, empty my shoes of the huge amount of sand that had accumulated in them, and return to parts of civilization to take highways up into Colorado Springs.
There is so much more to write. I’ll be getting to it.