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#48 Great Sand Dunes National Park, & National Preserve #2, CO

I can't believe I'm in the home stretch! 4 more National Parks and 2 National Monuments to go! While I am feeling a sense of accomplishment there is also a sense of dread for the emotional roller coaster these parks will bring. We have taken Anna to these parks her whole life and of course Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction is extremely special because she spent so much time there while she went to University there. So bittersweet... Time to grab a box of tissues and get going.

It was so nice to have my husband, Fred, join me for this last section of the National Park Run for Anna Rose and NET cancer awareness. Many of you may not know, that while I have been out on the road spreading the word about NET cancer, Fred has been home working, taking care of our pets, and funding this campaign. So, if you see him, tell him "Thank You" for all his hard work behind the scenes!

What an anomaly The Great Sand Dunes are for Colorado! When you think of Colorado you visualize mountains, snow, dense forests, but about 30 miles north of Alamosa is the weirdest site that defies your eyes and brain. Rising up from the valley floor are sand dunes! 755 feet tall! The tallest dunes in the United States! Go figure...

The mountains set a beautiful backdrop for the dunes.

It's a good workout walking through the sand for miles!

In the spring, Medano Creek flows through the park, in between the sand and the sagebrush. It's a wonderful place to bring young children because it's rarely over 6-12 inches deep and they have a fabulous time! The creek was mostly dried up when we were visiting this time but we found a couple of places where there was some water.

As you can see, we went from hot sunshine to a storm quite quickly.

Bushwhacking from the dunes out to the four wheel drive road I found pretty flowers and three deer...and lots and lots of cactus.

Being back here was tough...really tough. Fred and I had so many good memories of bringing Anna here through the years. As we hiked along the dunes and the creek bed, they flooded our minds, like the Medano floods every spring. I could hear her cute little laugh when the wind blew the sand.

Here are just a few of our priceless memories.

Little Moses leading her people through the desert

Sliding down the dunes and into the Medano Creek

Sledding on the dunes

The Sand Dunes were one of Anna's very favorite places on this planet. I'm sure if you go, you will agree with her...they are magical.

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