Thursday, May 08, 2014

On the Road to Durango

On Thursday, we drove from Colorado Springs to Durango, via way of Great Dunes National Park and San Juan National Forest. It was one of the most spectacular drives ever.

The weather seemed to change every 45 minutes all day long. It had been 70 degrees the day before, but we woke up to light snow.

After spending an hour at breakfast and another hour at Outdoor World, we headed south to Pueblo, through the high desert. It was arid country, and by noon I was hot, but within the hour the weather turned, with massive clouds building like cotton candy.

We took a wrong turn, which was not a problem, but then the winds turned up and three very large dust devils rose several hundred feet just ahead of us and only a few hundred yards from the road.  Yes, we wondered what was next!

We rose quickly out of the arid desert to more trees, skirted through a few small towns, and headed for the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The dunes are massive and rise 700 feet and stretch for many miles. A melt water stream prevented us from getting to the dunes, and a snow squall prevented us from getting as good a photo as we might have.

We realized it was getting late in the day  and so we put the pedal down to Durango.

The road between the dunes and Durango goes through the San Juan National Forest, which is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

We rose through massive cliffs, snow-covered Ponderosa Pines, and groves of Aspen. The San Juan River dodged back and forth on either side of the road.

We topped one pass and the entire world was painted in blue thanks to the thick cloud cover and the sun sinking low in the afternoon.

We almost hit a Mule deer, and took this picture of five others.

We pulled into Durango at 9 pm, tired but thrilled with the day.  Best road trip in a very long time.  What a country!

All pictures taken with my IPhone.  

1 comment:

Seahorse said...

Looks like a fantastic trip! Really enjoying your photos and travelogue.