It's Black Friday, as they say. And I've been having a hard time imagining how anyone could be in the mood for shopping...especially holiday shopping. But then, I've never enjoyed shopping, and have rarely enjoyed "the holidays" in a traditional sense. This year seems different: like a collective blah has settled in. The cure, for sure, is to be outdoors. There's not enough adventure in holidays, in my opinion. I'd much rather go explore than sit on a couch. So, we rented a Jeep and drove to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado. We found a cabin, built a fire, biked, climbed, and swam in a hot spring pool while the air temperature was 26-degrees.
We read the history of the dunes. They started forming 440,000 years ago from the sand deposits of the Rio Grande. They're surrounded by the insanely impressive (now snow-capped) Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. To go from soaking in natural 106-degree water, to bounding down enormous sand/snow dunes in the middle of the mountains, it's shocking (and also brilliant) that it's not as crowded as the malls. This place--this region, this state, this country--is full of staggering beauty.
But, it's also in some pretty funky danger as of late. Driving back from glamping down south, I listened to Frank Waln, and sent some support to the Veterans for Standing Rock. If I were rich and/or famous, I would be donating a huge chunk of money to these guys. What happens at Standing Rock, will inevitably have an effect on the dunes, and all of us. As far as I can see, it will make or break everything.