We had a short drive from La Junta to Alamosa, CO. I wanted to stop at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa. I had originally planned on spending a couple of days here, but we'll cut it to one day because of all the problems back in Maryland. We moved from the high plains of eastern Colorado into the foothill of the Rockies. We're at about 7,500 ft. elevation.The aspen trees have turned bright yellow and you can see a little snow on top of some of the 14'ers in the area.
Great Sand Dunes National park is set against the Sangre de Christo Mountains. It's one of the newest National Parks in that it was created in 1964.as part of the Wilderness Act. It contains the tallest sand dunes in North America. The dunes formed from erosion up in the mountains. Two streams, Sand Creek and Medano Creek, resized and reshaped rock fragments as they tumbled down to the San Luis Valley. Over the years the sand spread out and created a large sand sheet. Strong winds from the southwest picked up and carry the sands to the base of the mountains where they were deposited as dunes. Sand is recycled this way over and over again. The dunes cover some 30 square miles and is surrounded by grassland and scrubland. We did a little walking down by the creeks and at the base of the dunes. After Ricketts Glen, I decided not to take the hike to the top of the dunes some 750 ft above the creek bed. Sand is tough to climb through, but quite a few people tried the climb.
Early tomorrow morning is the second lunar eclipse of the year. It scheduled to real full eclipse about 0500. I was thinking of heading back to the park to do some photography, but it's about 30 miles away so I'll probably get up early and see if I can get the pictures from the campground. Stay tuned for eclipse pictures.