Dusty of the Dunes

It was difficult to make the right fashion choices today because the itinerary had to remain fluid. My neighbor and I have been wanting to go on an adventure to the Sand Dunes (Great Sand Dunes National Park) since April and have not been able to work it out. Today was the last chance we would have for a long time so we seized the day.

We tried yesterday, but the weather got really ugly — or dramatic — depending on your point of view. Of course, when we gave up the adventure, the weather cleared, but that’s Colorado…

It’s potato harvest — slowed down this year by inclement weather — so there were potato trucks to watch out for. They are immense, heavy, loaded with potatoes and often driven by guys who never had a license or have lost the one they had. One such truck recently tangled with a train in broad daylight (trains being hard to see and hear). The train won. The potato truck driver was hurt and the truck was damaged.

To get to Great Sand Dunes National Park from Monte Vista you take country roads. It was beautiful in every direction. Busy farms, trucks, potato barns open, constantly changing sky. AND we got lost in a conversation and then lost on country roads. But the whole area is flat, it’s a grid, and going east is the Sand Dunes, sooner or later and somehow. Back on the right road, straight ahead, was Mt. Blanca coming through the clouds like a dream.

The first sight really does take your breath away. At the moment, the aspen are at their last extremely brilliant burst of color and on a gray, humid day they seem lit from inside.

I got to use my brand new shiny Senior Pass. I was a little worried because my ID was in the very back of the car in my pack with Dusty, but the Ranger took the pass and asked me my name. She had a twinkle in her eye, so I said, “Whoa, uh, uh…” and she cracked up. I told her my name. 🙂

There is a seasonal stream — Medano Creek — that runs between the dunes and the not dunes. In summer it’s literally “the beach” and kids body surf on it. Usually this time of year there is no flow, but it was flowing pretty good today. We struggled for a time to keep our feet dry and then gave up. Dusty T. Dog — without his sidekick, Polar Bear Yeti T. Dog — felt pretty special I think. Anyway, he’s tired now.

It’s something to see. It’s a truly remote spot but there were tourists from Switzerland, Germany and China and possibly places I don’t know. Fashionable footwear? Wet, sandy shoes, soaked socks and damp, sandy jeans.


“Where are we? Am I going to run FREEEEEEE????”


Fall Color


Medano Creek


The wet dunes


And if you ever get a chance to have a REAL Colorado potato with butter and whatever fixings you like, jump on it!


Delicious baked Colorado potato!!! 🙂


14 thoughts on “Dusty of the Dunes

  1. Around these here parts, we get Maine potatoes which are a pretty good imitation of Idaho potatoes. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen potatoes from Colorado. Maybe they all get shipped to California?

    You trees look wonderful and I love the wet sand. We are JUST beginning to get some color. It is VERY late. I don’t know if we’ll get full color or not.

    • Dusty tried to tell Tabby about it, but wasn’t able to leave a comment. WP seems to be adjusting itself again, over here, anyway. I can only get comments via email at the moment or by going to my “Dashboard.”

      It was a really nice day. I enjoyed it a lot. And free potatoes all over the ground. they are really hurrying, I think.

  2. I love the image of the creek. I can see that as a watercolour painting.
    Interesting to see the plate your potato was served on. It’s Portmeirion’s ‘Botanic Garden’, originally designed at Portmeirion* in North Wales, about fifty miles away from where I live. It’s now produced in Stoke-on-Trent – fifty miles in the opposite direction 🙂 .
    * pronounced Port- may-ree-on. Famous for the 1960s TV drama ‘The Prisoner’.

    • Actually, the plate belongs to my neighbor. The set is so beautiful! I shared your comment with her. 🙂

      I agree with you about the photo of the creek. It looks it wants to be a watercolor painting. The image that’s tempting me is the one of the dunes, my friend walking toward them and my dog standing there. He was between us and wasn’t sure if he should follow my friend or stay with me.

    • I shared your comment with my friend who has the dishes. Here’s what she said. She’s my next door neighbor.

      “Thanks for sending! I’ve been collecting those dishes for years.

      I called them my retirement dishes and didn’t use them until we moved to Monte Vista. I would buy one or two at a time whenever I saw them at TJ MAX. I have been pronouncing the name incorrectly. Nice to know a little history and where they are manufactured.”

      She’s a very avid (and amazing) gardener. 🙂

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