The picture shows my daughters all but swallowed up by the great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. After the mountains and horseback riding, we didn't want to plunge back into art galleries and pueblos so we took a side trip. As Cape Codders, sand is not new to us but in that part of Colorado water was not evident and the dunes -- some 300 square miles of them -- marched right up the side of the mountains in great undulating waves. This was a national recreation area without trails, without restrictions people struck out wherever they wanted. A great sand box for kids and grown ups, pristine, sculpted by an ever present breeze that can become a fierce sand laden wind.
I've been in the Sahara amid tall dunes but this was different. The wind compacted the sand so it was surprisingly firm to walk on, no two steps up, one step back as in the Sahara. They walked much farther than I, Leslie met some people sledding down who let her have a go. Quite a few young guys were there with surfboards. The area was vast, figures became mere pinheads in the distance yet they were visible against the white.
From there we ate at a roadside cafe that seemed to be a family affair. I discovered that the chili on the menu was not Eastern chili con carne that I often have in the winter here. I ordered green chili and found I had a chicken soup, a thickened broth, with small bits of chicken and small bits of green chili (not very spicy). Interesting.
We went down the road a bit, turned off onto an unpaved road going up into the mountains. The "girls" hiked up from the parking lot along a creek -- no path, they had to walk carefully in the cold, cold water tumbling down until they came to a large mouthed cave. Inside they could see a waterfall cascading from above into the creek. I wished I had gone, but at that point I'd done all the climbing my legs and lungs were willing to undertake. I napped in the car.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!