Good bye and Great Sand Dunes National Park

Date: 26 – 27/09
City: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Miles ridden: 0
Cumulative miles: 11597

Not much happened during these two days. Since we will enter Mexico in 2-3 weeks, we thought we better have a closer look at our Mexico plans. So we looked at all the travel advisory from the US, Australian and German government. Nothing new for us, not much has changed in the last year. We looked for border procedures, how to get our tourist visa and our bike import permit and how much the ferry costs from Baja to the mainland. We adjusted our Mexico route to enter Mexico via Baja and not via the mainland. In addition we had a look where we would do our last motorbike service and where we could send bits and pieces that needed replacement. So we did lots of boring things that just chews up your time but is necessary for the trip. In addition, Wombats SSD drive (Solid State Disk, a computer hard disk without moving parts) spit the dummy. His laptop wouldn’t boot and it took Sigrid and Wombat a day to recover it. During this time it started to hail, we were really lucky that we used this day for our preparation.

At night we went out for our last dinner that we would have together for at least one year. Colorado Springs was the final place that the four of us visited together, Wombat and Val would stay in the US until December and then return to Australia, while we will continue our trip to Ushuaia, then return to the US next year and finish our trip with the Alaska bit that we missed that year. Anyway, after a nice dinner, we had a dip in the hot tub and went to bed.

Date: 28/09
City: Great Sand Dunes NP, Colorado
Miles ridden: 202
Cumulative miles: 11799

We meet with Wombat and Val for breakfast and found that the first bit of the day we could still travel together. So we packed the bikes had the last group picture of us and our critters and off we went.

We stopped at the Royal Gorge and had a look at the world’s highest suspension bridge. The right picture shows the depth of the Gorge.

There is nothing special about the grass in the next picture, I just like it.

Then we had our last coffee together, took our last group picture and said good bye to Wombat and Val. We traveled together for nearly four month and did see a lot of amazing things together, it was a bit of a sad moment.

So Sigrid and I took off to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Apparently it is great to climb up to the top and we could look over the dunes at the full moon. Guess what, today/tomorrow is full moon, so we were really lucky to be there at the right time. When we arrived at our accommodation, around 6 PM, we settled in the room,took some pictures of the dunes and the sunset, had dinner and headed off to a ranger tour in the national park.

The dunes are the small sandhills in the middle, just before the mountain.

The ranger tour was very interesting, particular the stories from the Native American about the moon and the sun. The tour ended at the foot of the dunes and the ranger gave us the option to go back to the parking lot and have a look at the moon through the telescope or to climb the dunes. By the way, we learned that the dunes were a bit higher then they looked, the top of the dunes was around 190m, but we gave it a go. We followed a ridge since the sand seemed to be a bit harder there, well for most of the time. Sometimes it got so soft that we nearly tumbled. And there was the wind that blows the sand around us, into the clothes, eyes, ears and mouth. Well the moon was out and cast a shadow, but it was not bright enough to see where we were stepping. So in the end, we turned around, ¾ of the way. Mental note, don’t try to climb 200m dunes at full moon, try it at sun set 😛. Here are some pictures of us in the dunes.

We enjoyed the climb and went back completely exhausted. Since the accommodation was completely booked for the rest of the weekend we will continue tomorrow to Los Alamos but not without getting back to the dunes and having a closer look during the day!

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