Day 2: Pagosa to Mogote via the Great Sand Dunes

Dear Isaac and Maia,

I woke up and immediately felt a bit overwhelmed by having to take down the tent that I just spent an hour or more putting up (plus all our stuff). But, I muscled through and even took the dogs for their morning walk around the campground.

Near our campground in Pagosa Springs

This campground was at the base of the passes, so we started climbing immediately up the Continental Divide. It was beautiful – it has been 20 years or so ago since I took Hwy 160 over the divide. CW McCall sings a great song about Wolf Creek Pass – google it!We got to the other side and it was instant plains. That means roads are flat and straight so everything connects to everything. Texas was like that. The Garmin wanted to turn at every intersection even though it didn’t agree with my planned route. I’m sure they all connected to the Dunes, though.

Climbing Wolf Creek Pass

We ended up on a flat farm road that went on for almost 20 miles out to the Dunes. It was miles and miles with intersections but only a couple of stop signs. Eventually, we got to the Dunes.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

The first thing was a picnic lunch then a hike in the sand. The first part was wet and cool on dog feet. After that, I think it was a little warm for the dogs so we really only climbed the first row of Dunes before I decided it was time to head to the campground.

Kachina, Sazi and Moki at the Great Sand Dunes

It was then that I had my run-in with the law. It seems I was hypnotized by the miles of road without stop signs so I accidently ran one in the Dunes. The ranger pulled me over (no harm done) – this ranger looks like he is 16. I got him all the documents to prove I was just someone from Montrose – it all checked out with his radio so we were on our way.I honestly never heard of Mogote or half the other little towns along our route. It was pretty, rolling hills and a few mesas. We drove by Colorado’s oldest church in Conejos – Our Lady of Guadalupe. That was cool.

Great San Dunes National Park

Our campsite was still a few miles away. We got there and I realized my trip planner didn’t have our site number. Crap. And, no internet to look it up. We backtracked 5 miles until I got a signal and looked up the site number. Then, it was another tent set-up. BTW – I use a jet boil and have soup for dinner because it would take way too long to have a fire. It was this night that I started to feel my vertigo coming on – so I was a little nervous for what would happen the next day.

Colorado’s oldest church in Conejos – Our Lady of Guadalupe

Love, GMH

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