Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 7 Great Sand Dunes, CO to Aztec Ruins, NM

Great Sand Dunes NP, CO was created by the Winds & Mountains & Water

The wind picks up sand from the valley floor, but the mountains, 10-14,000' , block the wind &

causes the sand to be deposited in large dunes up to 750 ft.

The water shapes the dunes boundary & washes the sand back to the valley.
The creek had "surges" of water @ every 30 sec., like mini waves. Check the parks website for the details.
We asked the Park Ranger about smoke we saw on the way in to the park. Lightning started the fire on June 6th & NPS was letting it burn its self out.
But while we were at the creek...

.. the winds shifted, fed the fire & the smoke erupted, all in about 10 minutes.
The Wolf Creek Pass, elevation 10,850 ft., was the 1st time we'll cross the Continental Divide. We really noticed the lack of oxygen in the air.

It's all down hill from here, 3,000 ft. drop in 7 miles... the brakes had a burning smell on the way down. Definitely Low Gear on upcoming descents.
Chimney Rock on the way to Durango, CO

Aztec Ruins NHS, in nortwestern NM was built by the Anasazi @ 1200 AD.

The scale of levels, rooms & engineering was incredible.

4 levels of rooms,


channels for collecting water and...

passage ways throughout the complex. (they were alot smaller back then)

The ceremonial kivas were about 30 ft. across & 20' deep- the largest maybe twice that size.

NPS has a reconstructed a kiva next to an original.

The interior

The stonework was unbelievable.

One wall, maybe 200' long, had 3 layers of the black stone which had been carried about 20 miles .

Amazing, they did all this with Stone Tools.

grinding/milling stones for corn & nuts: mano & metate'

storage jars

It was raining when we crossed Raton Pass from NM into CO yesterday, so we had to stop for a picture,

the 2nd of 3 times we'll enter Colorado. Tommorrow we actually will be in 1 place all day- Mesa Verde, so not much driving.

1 comment:

  1. hey John and Wanda!!! Haven't seen Clarisse but she's eating and peeing so she's doing okay!!! Please call me IF and only IF I need to pay Verizon, Discover. Also, some other important looking stuff has arrived that aren't on your list. Haven't heard from BofA, Best But or Geico. The trip looks gret and I know you're having a blast. Some of the pictures are really amazing. I hope you're both staying healthy and are getting some sleep!Love, SUE