Colorado Highlights + Travel Journal

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado was my favorite state to drive through. Although we had little time to absorb it, vast mountains surrounded us on every bit of the drive. It was intensely dark at night with massive mountain ranges and foreboding cliffs on all sides (that we couldn’t see because darkness). I remember we pulled off the road at one point and turned our lights off. It was pitch black, but the stars were the best I’ve ever seen. I felt so small, and just knew I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to make a wish. The stars were so luminescent and cosmic. Little did I know that this 2 minute pull-off would be the best show of stars the entire trip. 

Great Sand Dunes, Trekking up and up...

Great Sand Dunes, Trekking up and up...

We didn’t have time to venture to northern Colorado, or even to the point of Colorado Springs, but we DID stop at Sand Dunes National Park. Man, oh man, oh man oh man oh man. This was so fascinating: A sand dune sitting starkly right in front of a huge mountain range. Rare and bizarre water phenomenons sit just between the two structures, and the great sands just dare you to come and climb them. It’s the best playground I’ve ever been on. We hiked up massive dunes and I huffed and puffed, and got sandy and dirty, my shoes stuffed with wet, heavy sand. I remember that I wasn't feeling well that day, but one we got to the top, I felt the tightness in my chest release as I looked out at what I had just accomplished.

Driving through Colorado

Driving through Colorado

We then headed to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the first of many canyons we would explore in the coming days on the border of Colorado and Utah. Ya'll—this stop is WORTH IT. The canyon is a mysterious combination of shocking height and depth, narrow and terrifying. Just looking at it makes your stomach churn. Having also seen the Grand Canyon (more on that later), I can say that the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is overall LESS Grand, but more frightening and even exhilarating. Even now, I really can’t even express how insanely beautiful the United States is. 

I know we are plagued by many threats in this country, whether nuclear, environmental, or any other prominent issue of our time, but I can’t help but still feel utterly blessed that I live here. No matter what anyone says, we are so fortunate, and it’s our DUTY to realize that and to witness it with our own eyes so we understand, not only the technological advances we get to enjoy, but also the raw, unfiltered, natural phenomenons that are just waiting for us. Life is a miracle. It’s a cliche but I’ve learned that most cliches are said frequently for a reason.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Well, that’s it for today. 😃

xoxo,

Laura

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison