Colorado is one of the most marvelous and dazzling places I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Our first night there was in a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) right outside of Alamosa, facing the beautiful Sangre del Cristo Mountains. This mountain range is the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located south of Colorado and north of New Mexico and are called “Christ’s blood” because of how red they become when the sun rises over them. That sunset/sunrise was only the beginning of a long list of beautiful ones.
The following day, early morning, we were on our way to Great Sand Dunes National Park. To this day, after a long month of traveling, I am still convinced this is one of my most favorite place! That’s mostly because of how random I think it is to find such enormous sand dunes in the middle of the US. The dunes can go as high as 750 feet (230m), they are the largest in America. We saw a pronghorn right outside the entrance of the park and were mostly alone on the Dunes (I’d say the crowds start gathering around 9am). We decided to go early because the sand can get very hot and we were taking Nola with us.
As soon as the temperatures started rising, we left the dunes and went to explore towards Rio Grande National Forest. A pure gem for nature lovers, the 1.83M acres park is home to the Rio Grande River which starts in the Gulf of Mexico. We spent the night there after buying some elk meat in a very typical gun-loving shop…
The day after, we paid a visit to good old Mesa Verde National Park. We loved seeing the dwellings as well as the landscapes. We visited it under some rain, storms and a little bit of snow before we parked right outside with views over the mesa for the night ! Located in Southwestern Colorado, Mesa Verde, “Green Table” in Spanish, National Park offers an unparalleled opportunity to see and experience a unique cultural and physical landscape. Including more than 4,000 known archeological sites dating back to A.D. 550, this national treasure protects the cliff dwellings and mesa top sites of pit houses, pueblos, masonry towers, and farming structures of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples who lived here for more than 700 years. This national park gives us a glimpse into the places and stories of America’s diverse cultural heritage.
The morning after we were in Durango for longer than we would have wanted ;). We had decided to change our tires and brakes, just as a preventive measure and we actually discovered we needed to change an important piece called a CV axle. Time to get the right piece and install it, we actually spent 5 days in Durango not really exploring. But we managed to catch a really amazing sunset there.
The only little outing we took was to Havilland Lake, where we hiked for a morning. I really loved the place and was happy to see something else than Durango’s Walmart and Home Depot while we were fixing the van!
Thursday, June 18th marked the day we left Southern Colorado to go explore the more central area of the State. I’ll talk to you about that in the next article. In the meantime, would love to know if you’ve been to those places and what you thought about it.
Coco, Bobby, Nola & Vanito!
PS : I’ll share the map of Colorado on the last article regarding the State!