Great Sand Dunes National Park, 11500, State Highway 150, Mosca, Colorado, Colorado
After brunch in Denver we said farewell to Steve and headed out of the city. In Colorado Springs we took a turn into the mountains. I looked at the map and saw Royal Bridge and with all of the billboards it looked like a fun detour loop. Unfortunately the signs didn't say that you can't drive across the bridge to continue tour route, you instead have to pay $25 and can take a coaster, giant swing, walk, or trolly ride to or near the bridge. Huge tourist trap! We couldn't even see the gorge or bridge from the parking lot and had to turn around and drive back. We then drove through Salida and our beer map told us there was a brewery. Tasty beer and a really neat modern place. The town turned out to have a lot of neat shops and restaurants, good stop. For the night we settled in the mountains just South of the city. It was a spectacular location and by far the coolest of the trip. There were no trees around us, but huge mountains slowly climbing on each side. Our campfire and fireworks could probably be seen for miles around.
In the morning Dave and Mike took off for a mountain bile ride, which wad planned to be a loop. It turns out they climbed around 2,500 ft and never found the loop turn. I eventually got the walkie-talkie call to 'get comfortable' because they were just then turning around. I spent the morning doing a short ride around on the dirt roads then reading and a crossword puzzle. The guys showed up exhausted. Mike *enjoyed* the RV shower experience, especially when the water tank ran out. Finally we were off! We drove to the Great Sand Dunes NP and walked around a bit on the dunes and played and jumped off them. The wind started kicking up something fierce and we eventually bailed. My scalp is coated in sand from being blasted. Now we've left the dunes, made a brief stop at the San Luis Valley Brewing in Alamosa. On to state #7 - New Mexico!