RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado

Our campground is 7787 elevation, which is the highest elevation to date we have camped at. Neither of us have had any altitude sickness or effect since we left the Black Hills. In the Black Hills I was sick the next morning after we arrived, at an elevation of 5600. But since then, we have both done fine. I have increased Mallery's dose of Provex, which is an anti inflammatory. The 2nd morning in the Black Hills, Mallery woke up having trouble breathing. I had forgotten to give the Provex to her because she had been doing so well lately. She has trachea problems, and when she gets in extreme conditions, she has problems. I think she was also reacting to the high altitude. She also has been fine at these high altitudes. Our campground is called Blanca RV Park. It is one of those campgrounds that most of the RV's are semi permanent. In other words, most of the people have been here for for awhile. It is a little dumpy, but it was in Passport at $10 a night.This is the 2nd cheapest campground we have ever stayed at. A lot of the people living here are working on refinishing the Hwy going to the park.

Blanca RV Park

View of Blanca Peak (14345 - higher than Pikes Peak) from our Nest window, which is part of the Sangre De Cristo Mts.

It's a beautiful sunny and clear day and we are driving to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It is 16 miles to the park from our campground. I just took this picture to show you all how the country side looks. I am now looking down at my camera to see how the picture turned out. I hear Joe saying something like, Oh my God and I look up to see something black flying in the air at us. Then I hear something hitting our car. I found out a big dump truck blew a tire as it was approaching us , the tire was thrown at us. Joe saw a cloud of black smoke billowing out from under the truck, and thought what is wrong with that truck. Then in another split second just before the truck was to pass us coming from the other lane , the tire came flying at us. I am so glad I did not see it. There was smoke and a hissing noise coming from under the hood of our car. We got out of our car and the tire piece was under our car.

The tire messed up the front of our car and knocked out our air conditioning. That is what the hissing noise was.

Another piece of tire hit the side of the car.
And bent and marred it all up.
These are the two pieces that hit us, while we and the truck were going about 60 miles per hour.
The road with all the tire pieces. The truck never stopped.
We are just grateful we both are not hurt. I guess I will take another picture as my hands are still shaking from the incident. I stopped and thought how just minutes ago I had ask Joe to pull over so I could get some water out of the trunk. If we had not stopped for that few seconds, would we have pasted the truck before the tire blew? Or would we have been just that much closer and the tire would have hit the windshield and blinded us and it could have been worse!

The car still runs, so we head on down the road. It's hot with temperatures in the high 70's. The window are put up and down to try to keep cool.
The grasses, Great Sand Dunes, mountains, clouds and the sky.

After calling our Insurance Company at the visitor center ( we did not have phone service), we finally get back to the day, and walk out to the tallest sand dunes in North America. See the people way off in the distance. It takes 2-3 hours to climb the dunes to the top. I got exhausted just walking out to the first hills. If it were not so late and we had time for a hundred rest stops, we might have tried the climb.
Can you see me sitting on the top of a dune.

The dunes are up to 750 feet tall and covers more than 330 square miles.
My feet in the sand. Much different than sand on the beach. The sand has a lot of Magnetite, which is all the black in the sand. Seven species of insects thrive here and nowhere else in the world.
We missed the river that flows here in the spring and summer. It has dried up til the fall rains. The river has a phenomenon called " surge flow' that is only seen in a few places in the world. This is a great place for kids as well. They love to roll down the hills and play in the streams in the spring and summer.
A shot of the dunes from the visitor center.
A shot of the San Luis Valley, which is located between the two mountains. Rain in the distance.
The dunes from the road. See the trees at base of dunes.
At 9100 feet on the Sangre De Cristo Mts. The dunes are between the Sangre de Cristo Mts. and the San Juan Mts. Another shot of the valley as we descend the unpaved wash board road on the Sangre De Cristo Mts., which means " Blood of Christ" in Spanish. The mountains look red at sunset.
Shot of dunes on our way down the mountain.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Road Trip to Blanca, Colorado

Mallery says, " I'm ready to Rock & Roll. Let's hit the road. How cool do I look mom?"

We left Colorado Springs this morning around 11:30 and headed down Interstate 25. Joe said, " Oh this is nice to get back to interstate, where it is flat and I don't need to worry about getting up the next mountain". After 30 minutes he saw a rest stop, and pulled in, and said, " and there are rest stops always around".

Back to the Wyoming landscape. We didn't realize Colorado was a desert environment.
A few hills and big clouds.
As we got closer to Walsenburg, we started to see the Wet Mountain range off in the distance, which of course is part of the Rocky Mountains.

At Walsenburg, we took Hwy 160 east instead of west, as I was talking to my mom, instead of doing my job. About 4 miles, something didn't seem right, so as I talked to mom, I looked down at the GPS and saw it was showing we needed to turn around. I let mom go and Joe had to find a place to turn around. Not easy when you are 36 ft long and pulling a car.
We turn around and headed 160 west toward Blanca, Colorado.
According to the map there were no mountains to cross. There was no green on the map, so no mountains, right?
It looks like rain to the north.
The clouds are moving our way. Joe asked if we are climbing, even though the road looks flat. He said the engine is working hard. I checked the GPS, and sure enough we were climbing. We climbed from 4000 something to 9400. The climb was slow and long. There were no cliffs and the roads were good, but Joe had his foot to the floor as we climbed at 35 miles per hour. The rain reaches us as we continued to climb. Joe was nervous the engine wouldn't make it. He told me this as we reached the top.
Joe relaxed now, as we start our decline. I start to get nervous because the roads were wet and I didn't know what was coming next.
Joe's was going 45mps down the hill. I asked him to slow down more.
The hillsides are covered with what looks like sage.

I finally realized the descent was as slow and long as it was up. I relaxed now.
We are almost there and it is clearing off.
We arrived at the Blanca RV Park. This is our view out our window- Blanca Peak. The drive was a 3 hour drive going 145 miles. Tomorrow the the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cheyenne Canyon/ Hunt Falls/ Seven Falls

We got a late start like always, as we needed to do some grocery shopping. We had planned on going to the Cliff Dwellers, but it looked like rain in that direction, so we decided to drive through Cheyenne Canyon to the Seven Falls. We drove through Cheyenne Canyon and came to some falls.Cheyenne Falls

Hunt Falls

When we got out we were told we were at Hunt Falls. We were also told it was free, so of course we decided to get out and walk the trail. The man who was giving us information, told us it only took about 15- 20 minute to the top.

Above the fall and a very steep trail up farther.

After going farther, I needed a second break so we stopped. There was some other people taking a break and we engaged in conversations during the break. After a breather we all continued to ascend up the hill. They seemed to need as many breaks as I did, so we learned more about each other, as we climbed, talked and rested. I thought there were more falls above, but it was just a great view.

View from top of trail.
The friends we met as we traveled up the hill. Both live in Denver, and Les ( the guy) owns a winter home in Florida.
Drive back through Cheyenne Canyon to find Seven Falls. We arrive at Seven Falls and pay the $9 per person fee.

"Devils Slide" as posted by sign
You can walk up the stairs with 181 steps or take the elevator up to a platform to see the falls. Because I am still having back pain especially at night and in the morning, and because we had already climbed many stairs at Hunt Falls, we opted the elevator. ( elevator to far right of picture)

At the top of elevator, we viewed the falls from the platform
You can also view the falls from the ground, but you can only see 3 of the falls from there. From the ground, there are also steps to the top of the Seven Falls. We watch as some people climbed up them. Coming down was more scary as I watch a few hang on for dear life and climbing back down like snails. It didn't help, that it had just rained while they were up there and the stairs were wet.
After the falls, I took Joe out for authentic Mexican at "Arceos" as recommended by the owner of our park.
Food was very good and then we headed home. This is the name of the park we are at til tomorrow.
This is the entrance to the park. Off to the left ( not shown in the picture) is a auto parks business.
The park is located right in town. We are jammed in like sardines, but all attractions are very close.