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Friday, August 03, 2007

The Great Sand Dunes, Colorado Spring's Garden of the Gods and Caves of the Wind

Hi Everyone, today is the 6th day of our vacation in Colorado. We've driven over 1,100 miles so far and this was only covering the South-west part of Colorado.

Today we woke up early and headed to Colorado Springs. The landscapes at the lower Southern part heading East of Colorado is so different from the top half of the South-west area. The South West area such as Breckenridge, Leadville, Aspen and Terrulide are so green and lush and the lower South such as Cortez, Alamosa, Pueblo and even Colorado springs are much drier with lots of rock formations such as the ones located at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Here is one of the rock formations at the Garden of the Gods called "the Three Graces". Pictured is my daughter inside the rock.

This is a picture of the "Balanced Rock". . .one of the many rock formations at the Garden of the Gods.

This a picture of us at the "Balanced Rock" at another angle. Isn't it cool how the rock is balanced the way it is. Can you imagine if one day it breaks off and rolls off the ledge? I wouldn't want to be in its path if it were to roll off.

We also visited the Cave of the Winds, again in the Manitou/Colorado Springs area.
This is a picture of the inside of the Cave of the Winds. We took the shorter tour called the "Discovery Tour". There's two tours, the other tour is called the "Lattern Tour" and it's much more extensive than the Discovery Tour. With the "Lattern Tour", you carry a lantern and you walk deeper into the cave where there's no lighting. The cave was so cool. You walk through different passages with a tour guide.

Surrounding the Cave of the Winds in Manitou/Colorado Springs are mountains and canyons. The area surrounding the Cave of the Winds is so beautiful. This picture was taken at the visitor's center. The Cave of the Winds is located at a top of the mountain and surrounded by mountains and cliffs such as shown in the picture.
I would add more pictures but I think this is enough for now. It's very hard to choose which pictures to post because all of them are beautiful.

Yesterday we visited the Great Sand Dunes in a town called Alamosa. Here is the water that flows along the side of the Great Sand Dunes. We walked down the stream barefoot. It was an interesting feeling to walk in it. Because it's summer, there wasn't much water. All around the sand dunes are green lush mountains and green landscapes. The Great Sand Dunes is located in the center of all this lush landscaping.
Here is my daughter sticking her foot in the sand. The Great Sand Dunes is the tallest and largest sand dune in the US. It's located quite a bit of a distance from Denver but I feel it's worth it to visit the park.

Here's my kids rolling down the sand dune. Kids love to roll down for some reason. We had so much fun. It was a hot summer day but it was somewhat windy so it didn't feel too hot.

I thought this picture shows the amazing size of the Great Sand Dunes. Pictured is my daughter walking in the distance. Many people hike it to the top and what you see up there is much more amazing than what is pictured here. As you can see how little my daughter is compared to the size of the sand dunes.

The Great Sand Dunes is approximately 33 miles in circumference. It's like a huge sand box. Amazingly, the Great Sand Dunes is surrounded by green mountains and a flowing stream runs to side of it.
Here is a picture of my daughter sitting down on one of the hills. She looks so alone surrounded by all the hills of sand.


Rita said...

Wow! What fantastic pictures & your narative is very interesting...makes me want to go there too. Thank you for sharing, I'm really enjoying it.


Debby Winters said...

What great pictures. You are all having such a great time! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

malieta said...

I love your vacation pictures Maria. The sand dunes are awesome aren't they? Thank you for sharing your vacation with us:)
Take care

Eleanor said...

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

Your photos are so amazing, maria! I can hardly wait to see any scrapbook pages you make with them!

Tracy.H said...

What amazing photos!! TFS :0)

Jen said...

oh my! these photos are gorgeous, Maria!!! thanks for making me feel like I went on this trip with you and the gang.


Ila said...

These photos are wonderful! Wow, looks like Colorado is just a fantasic place to vacation...TFS.

Debbie G said...

Beautiful pictures Maria and it sure looks like a great place to visit someday!! Glad you all enjoyed your selves.

Carol said...

Maria...your site is wonderful. Your photos were beautiful. The picture of your daughter sitting on the sand dune deserves to be framed for your wall or entered into a competition. The composition is outstanding. Thanks for sharing all you do.


Susie said...

My daughter used to live in Col Spgs, we have visited these places, it almost like heaven..very pretty and tranquil.

brooks1986 said...

I actually live in Alamosa and enjoyed your play-by-play of your Colorado visit. Sometimes it takes an outsiders opinion to make you remember the wonder & beauty of the place you call "home". Your photos are amazing and your cards are great too. I don't know how you can travel and still be organized enough to be creative. Glad you had a great time at the Sand Dunes...we love going out there, especially in the spring when the water is running good. It's like going to the beach...without the ocean.

Anonymous said...

This was very helpful in deciding on where to visit in Colorado! I had no idea about the great sand dunes!