(July 9 – 10, 2019) The Great Sand Dunes National park which is surrounded by mountains and streams were not what I expected or could even imagine. Experiencing crossing the Medano Creek and hiking the dunes were well worth visiting this park. It was not easy hiking up the dunes (Elevation Gain: about 700 feet = 213 meters). The sun was brutal during midday. I didn’t bring enough water. I stopped and thought about quitting many times. Eventually reaching to the top of the dunes, I patted myself on the back.
Coming down, I was concerned about my ankles getting burned by the sand. Summer sand surfaces reach 140 degree Fahrenheit (=60 Celsius). Sand coming into my socks was hot as if I touched a hot stove top. I was not prepared for this and I regretted of wearing short ankle socks. The campground in the park, was full. I stayed at a nearby KOA campground just for one night. The hiking trails on the mountain side of the park look interesting but I didn’t do it.