Well we are in western Colorado now. It has been a great trip so far, with only a few little issues.
We arrived in Westcliffe, CO last week and spent 4 nights at a BEAUTIFUL park. We had sweeping views of the mountains right out our back window. This campsite really was idyllic in every way.
On the first day, the girls just stayed put. After all those days and hours driving across the plains, we just wanted to relax. The guys however....aka Uncle Eric and Carson....loaded up the mountain bikes and did some biking up in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. They absolutely LOVED it but definitely noticed some struggling due to the altitude.
The next day we had all planned to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We got on our way in the later morning, but just as we all left, I realized we forgot something. Our other party - Aunt Stacia and her kiddos - said "we will just go on ahead!". I was a little nervous about this as I didn't really have a good idea on how to get there (and I had no idea how she knew...). But we went on.
I thought we would quickly catch up to Stac, but after we turned onto a VERY small dirt road and lost all cell service, we got a little worried. After quite a while, and a little scare when the GPS told us we were just driving along in the middle of a field, we started to see more houses, got some cell coverage and finally we connected with the main road again. So we immediately texted Stacia and said "Where are YOU!!!!!".
The answer? "Lost in the woods".
What the WHAT!?
So here we are, 1 hour from our campsite, with no clue where she is (because she had no idea where she was either). And no idea what to do. So we told her to let us know when she hits a main road.
We kept driving and then....lost cell service. We ended up at the Sand Dunes while hoping they would just show up.
We spent a short while letting the kids run around. It is an amazing place. It is the tallest sand dunes in North America. There is a mountain stream that runs through that you can splash around in - although it is COLD.
One of the nicest things is that since Caroline is permanently disabled, we were able to get an access pass where we can all get in all national parks for free. And the Great Sand Dunes had special wheelchairs available so Caroline was able to get out there with us! Although, with lots of wind, she wasn't too jazzed about the whole thing anyway, but it was still worth the trip!
After we left the dunes, and got back to having cell service, we finally were able to get in touch with Stacia and found she spent the day driving around in nowhereland Colorado and then called it quits. Quite the bummer for all..... but at least everyone made it home safely.
We did have some amazing views on our way home - it is crazy how it seems you can see rain somewhere around you in Colorado. Those that say PA has crazy weather are NUTS.
The next day Stacia and the kids made their way for a day trip up to Pikes Peak. We opted to stay closer to "home" and Eric and the girls went to the Mission Wolf rescue. It is a place where they, well - rescue wolves! They absolutely LOVED it. They learned a lot about wolves and Christina even got a full face lick from a wolf (yuck).
(This isn't Christina....but this is her photo of another person getting a little wolf lovin'."
And the next day we packed up and made our way to Vallecito Lake in western Colorado.
The drive along Rte 160 in southern Colorado is absolutely AMAZING. I could KICK myself for not getting more (or any?) pictures of the views. But one thing that was a little unnerving was Wolf Creek Pass. This is a steep and LOONNNGGG up and downhill east of Pagosa Springs. We decided to play it a bit safe and unhook the Pilot from the motorhome for that portion of the trip. We have been finding our motorhome struggles a bit going uphill...and we knew it would only help to have less weight for the brakes on the downhill.
But I have to say....I was SERIOUSLY scared. A newish (used) motorhome, on a scary hill, with all my kiddos aboard as I trailed behind. Yeah, my palms were sweaty, my mouth was dry. Wolf Creek Pass is amazingly beautiful, but I was way too scared to enjoy it. But we made it safely up and down and it was all good in the end.
Our current plan is to explore this area for a few days before making our way to northern Arizona and southern Utah.
The weather changes over the last week and the next few weeks is going to be cRaZy!!!! For a reference....today it was about 70 and sunny in Colorado. And this weekend it is supposed to be about 108 in southern Utah. YIKES!!!!!!!