The traditional thing to do for a 10 year anniversary might have been a bottle of wine, a fancy restaurant, dressing up and making googly eyes at each other.
We don’t drink.
We don’t love fancy food.
We had way more fun.
Bonus points because the 10 year anniversary gift is tin….and I wrapped left over pizza in tinfoil!! DOUBLE score!
As you saw from my 10 year non-traditional story, we like doing things our own way. While we have plans for a big European trip later this year, I still wanted us to spend some quality time disconnected from our phones and work this weekend.
It was a lot of “I love you’s”.
It was a lot of “hey remember when”.
It was a lot of “thank you for…”.
And seriously a LOT of sand, wind, trails and fun!
Great Sand Dunes National Park
When I made my list of Colorado must do’s the Colorado Sand Dunes quickly joined the club thanks to all I’m learning from my friends here. Colorado really does have it all, except the ocean!
Not only was I in deep need of spring, which comes sooner to the Southern part of the state which is warmer, but this sounded like a must adventure.
Where are the Colorado Sand Dunes?
Mosca is technically the name of the closest city, but mostly they’re way out in the middle of no where. This came as a surprise to David who was planning to eat when we arrived…instead we dove in to the trail snacks we’d brought for the next few days. It’s crazy because looking one direction you see nothing but sand. Then you turn around and tada mountains!
What can you do at the Dunes?
Be prepared to spend at least a few hours there! More depending on how much energy you have or how often you pause for breaks.
- Hike, up, over, around and beyond. It’s a hard hike, but so cool.
- Bring your own sled or rent them from a place near the park (no rentals there)
- Rent sandboards (just like snowboarding)
- Winter brings snow so you can actually snowboard or tube down the hills
- Summer brings a creak you can splash is as well
What I wish I’d known?
Ok so clearly I knew there would be sand everywhere…I didn’t really think through the shoes. My trail shoes let in all the sand through the top mesh, creating little bundles of sand under my toes.
- Anyone I saw in boots had them off, they just become too heavy
- My shoes were fine, I just would have brought and older pair or not the pair I was running in later
- You do want shoes as in the summer the sand is VERY hot and can be cold in the winter
- As noted there isn’t food or rentals at the park, about 30 minutes to a nearby town
- Wear a buff (mine was perfect as the wind whipped the sand up)
- Bring extra towels to clean off everything before you leave
- Sunrise and sunset make for some great photos, but honestly they’re pretty cool regardless
After leaving the dunes, we drove about 90 minutes to the town of Pueblo. It’s this weird cross of amazing little downtown with a riverwalk and a bonanza of every chain available along the highway. The riverwalk is a mini version of what so many know famously from San Antonio. They have little pontoon boats that traverse the one mile area, which is lined with a few different restaurants, shops and businesses.
Because a one mile walk wasn’t enough to entertain me, I wanted to see what else we might discover in the older downtown. There were a ton of monuments to the military, some gorgeous old state buildings and of course street art!!! For our purposes it was mostly the best option to get to the Pueblo State Park for a couple days of trail explorations! This one has been on David’s mountain bike riding wish list for awhile and apparently lived up to the hype.
For bikers it’s mostly easy rolling hills, instead of the standard Colorado steep climbs and drops. As a runner, I notice those hills more, but realistically this is still an easier trail than most. The path varies from large rocks to dirt, but there are no places where I needed to scramble or worry about footing.
Except when I was so busy taking in the views, that I totally caught my toe on a rock and did the windmill, slow-mo pray not to fall.The views are incredible as you could see for miles or realized you were on top of a bluff looking directly down at the green waters, which were clear enough to reflect the butte opposite of you.
It’s easy to forget that Colorado has so much more than skiing. There’s a ton of amazing places throughout the state and I’m still feeling really lucky, we chose to make this home a few years ago!
Looking for more Colorado:
- Winter Park in the Summer
- Steamboat Springs in the Spring
- Incredible Fall Leaves
- Amazing Biking (for a newbie) in Frisco
Do you have a bucketlist of adventures?
Have you ever been to sand dunes?
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