Four States, Four Corners

Posted by Ana on Wednesday Apr 20, 2011

After Mesa Verde, we went to buy some groceries and then Mommie told Dad, “yes, you can take the girls for subway sandwiches”. We love subway sandwiches because they are so bacony and mayoney and pickley, and HUGE!! Mom and Dad let us get HUGE footlongs which is great because I am not very big but usually I finish mine before everyone else, except Greta.

We all got footlongs!

And then we went to Four Corners where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico all come together in one place. But we were sad because the gate was closed when we got there so we couldn’t stand exactly at the spot where the four corners meet. Mom and Dad tried to encourage us to be happy and believe that we were already on Four Corners but close enough wasn’t good enough so we were still sad. 🙁

Four Corners was closed. And, we are standing on a... cattle gate!

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Mesa Verde

Posted by Greta on Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

On April 16th, we visited Mesa Verde National Park. I was really excited to go there because I had read part of a great book about it, so I had high hopes. Even when I saw the visitor center I knew it would be a cool park. We checked out the displays in the visitor center, and then we explored another museum. Then we ate lunch and had to race to our ranger tour at 1:00. The guide talked about what we would see, and then he led us down some steep steps in the mesa leading to the big pueblo in an alcove called Cliff Palace. He taught us about the culture of the Basketmakers, the people that lived in the pueblo, and he told us great funny stories. In the middle of the tour we met another family doing a big trip like us. They were very nice, and we hope to run into them again!

The pueblo ruins at Cliff Palace

After the tour, we went back to the museum and met a very nice park ranger named Scott. Then we prepared to go on our last hike to another pueblo called Spruce Tree House. It was really neat, and we got to look in some of the rooms and go in a kiva, too (Ana and I even got lost in one!). It was really fun.

With Ranger Scott in the Chapin Mesa Museum

Finally we headed back up, happy with our fun day at Mesa Verde.

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Posted by Ellie on Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

I saw my first coyote! It was crossing the road as we drove up onto Mesa Verde on April 16th. It was gray and brown. All of a sudden he pooped and then he kicked dirt over it and trotted off.

Mom took this picture of the coyote on the side of the road. If you look closely you can see it behind the bush.

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Durango, Colorado (still cold)

Posted by Van on Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

We woke up early on April 15 and hit the road. It was a beautiful, snowy drive up and over the continental divide at Wolf Creek Pass.

Lots of snow up at Wolf Creek Pass, CO

We were excited to spend the day in Durango, CO, a town about which we had heard many good things. It was beautiful. We walked Main Street and explored some of the shops. The girls have been reading like crazy, so we picked up a few more books for the journey. We were very impressed by all the bikes and bike-racks on every block.

The mountain peaks over Durango, CO

We eventually moved on to a campground closer to the next day’s destination (Mesa Verde). Unfortunately this second night was just as cold as the previous, dropping down into the low 20s, so we bundled up and took care to keep the RV pipes from bursting.

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Our Coldest Night Yet!

Posted by Greta on Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

The hike into the dunes was exhausting, but really fun and a very unique experience. I’d never seen anything like it in Colorado before. I was so glad to explore even more of my favorite state ever! (Hawaii is my second favorite.) There was a really sweet display in the visitor center with a model of “safe lighting”, rock erosion, hematite-collecting station, and two real bullfrogs! The dunes were super awesome! 😀

The night of April 14th (my friend Julia’s birthday! Happy birthday Julia!), was our coldest night so far on this trip. We camped in South Fork, CO because it was the warmest place we could find along our route in Colorado. We turned on the heat and bundled up in our multiple blankets, sleeping bags, and layers of clothing, prepared for the below-freezing temperatures of the night. Surprisingly, I did just fine, and so did the rest of my family! Now we’ll know how to survive another super-chilly night if it comes!

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Deer at Great Sand Dunes

Posted by Ana on Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

On April 14 we went to the Great Sand Dunes. Driving there we saw a lot of deer crossing the road and on the side of the road. Then we went to the Vistor Center and got our Junior Ranger packets. After we finished our packets, we went to hike up to High Dune, one of the tallest dunes that we could see. It was hard to walk sometimes because the sand was loose and thick so we had to turn our feet sideways, like a duck, to get anywhere. Dad says the top of High Dune is 650 feet up. It was a long walk and it was very tiring. My favorite part was coming down. We ran and rolled all the way down.

When we got to the bottom we (me and my dad) went to see if we could find the deer in the forest near the Visitor Center. I saw some deer prints so we followed them and then we saw some deer and some deer scat too! They were mule deer. They are named that because they have big ears like mules. I thought that they were white-tailed deer because of their white butts but I was wrong.

My dad took this picture of me and the deer we saw in the forest behind me, but you can't see the deer

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Hiking on the Great Sand Dunes

Posted by Ellie on Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

On April 14th, we went to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We were going to hike on the dunes. We had breakfast and then we went into the Visitor Center. They told us that we should go to a different parking lot, closer to the dunes. We saw deer along the road. We drove for a short while. We had to get our snow gear on. After that we finally got on our hike.

I ran to the front because I was so happy. When I stepped in the sand, I thought it was mud and I jumped over part of the sand. I started to run and it felt really weird with my feet sinking in the sand. I waited for everybody to catch up and then I started to run again. We walked on the flat sand for a long time. The flat sand was actually a dry creekbed which fills with melting snow every summer and carries sand from the dunes away for the wind to blow back on top of the dunes all over again. Then we came to our first dune. It was small but we could see the dunes were going to get much bigger.

The fresh snow made beautiful patterns on the dunes as it blew around and began to melt away

I lead us up the big dunes. It was hard at first, but it got easier to walk up the dunes. [Editor’s note: It was easy for Ellie; the rest of us were huffing and puffing the whole way up.] We got thirsty and my mom told us to lick the snow off the dunes and try not to get sand in our mouth.

Licking the snow on the way up.

We continued up the bigger dunes toward the peak of High Dune. At the top of one dune I thought we were at the top, but on the other side was just a big drop and taller dunes. When my dad caught up, he told me we should wait for the rest of our family.

That's me leading the way up the dunes. Come on, everybody!

Then I lead the way to the very top. When I got there, I shouted with joy and almost fell down the side of the dune. When everyone else got to the top I hugged them. Greta was grinning from ear to ear. At the top, I saw the Sangre de Christo mountains all around, and I saw even bigger dunes stretching a long ways away.

That's me at the very top of High Dune!

We rested at the top and then started our hike down. Stella lead us down the dunes until I cut in front of her, and then we ran down together.

Being in the dunes made me feel happy to be there.

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Acoma Again!

Posted by Stella on Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

Friday, April 14th, we went to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. When we drove up to the park early that morning, Dad was surprised to see that the sand dunes were white. He said they were supposed to be brownish. As we got closer, we realized they were covered with snow!

The dunes were covered with fresh snow

I groaned when I realized I’d have to get on all my snow gear. As I reluctantly got on my snow gear, I glanced out the window and spied a pretty little bluebird. It looked just like my little Acoma! They both had a tiny bit of black on their wings and their beaks were short, black, and pointy. Look at my older post about Acoma to compare.

Isn't he adorable?

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