Robby Poore

Eagle to La Junta, Colorado

    14,000 ft.peaks on the way to the Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mariah and Desmond take Fifi for a walk at the Great Sand Dunes

Charlotte at the Great Sand Dunes

Spanish Peaks, CO


July 3, 2017
It’s our time to say goodbye to Lynne’s parents and hit the road, so we woke up early and packed the car, and had a quick breakfast at the hotel. Papa (Lynne’s father) helped “grade” the twins’ last Jr. Ranger packets, these were the Night Sky badges that the ranger at Dinosaur National Monument gave to us, and made us promise to check their packets once the kids were finished. They passed with flying colors, according to Papa!
Charlotte and Mariah planned to come to the Great Sand Dunes with us, so we drove in a caravan down I 70, and took a right on route 24, and drove down the twisty roads through Minturn and Burma Vista, passed beautiful 14,000 foot peaks and abandoned mining towns, and passed several busses carrying river rafts and thrill-seekers. Lynne and Charlotte ride in one car, and I took Mariah and the twins in the Family Sport Wagon. I chose some tunes for Mariah to listen to, she’s been asking quite a bit about new music. At one point the subject changed to favorite albums, and of course I had to play the new remix of the Beatle’s Sgt. Peppers, and what a better time than driving several hours through such expansive and beautiful scenery. (The remix is absolutely phenomenal, by the way). Plus, I had the kids’ attention and they couldn’t escape, so their ears were mine for a short while.
I had a good time catching up with my niece Mariah, she’s a young artist and is interested in so many similar things; music, art, comics, and travel.
An interesting (?) note about our music; we have listened to quite a bit of music on this trip, but not as much as I would’ve liked. Lynne and I like to listen to location-specific music that goes with the terrain we drive through. For instance, In South Dakota and Iowa Lynne and I listened to a bunch of George Jones, and truck driving and CB music of the 1970s (which I have been collecting for years). In Wyoming, we listened to a bunch of western swing music, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and the like. In southern Wyoming, when we got out of the Tetons and Jackson hole, we listen to all of Rank and File’s “Sundown” record. I hadn’t listen to that album in maybe 20 years or so, and it still stands up, it’s great. I’d argue that it pre-dated alt-country by 10 years or more. After that, on a lark, Lynne and I listened to a bunch of Elton John from the early 1970s, most especially Tumbleweed Junction, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. On the drive to the Great Sand Dunes I played a selection of tunes I thought Mariah would like, including Band of Horses, Telekinesis, and Depeche Mode. For some reason, the twins really enjoyed the song “Shake the Disease” and even sing along with it for a bit! That was quite a surprise.
We all met up at the great Sand Dunes, a collection of sand at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, where there’s a visitor center and a little creek that runs off to the side. The kids got Jr Ranger packets and got to work while I snapped some photos and smelled the fresh mountain air.
We took a quick stop at the creek, then struggled through the sand while the kids built dams in the sandy creek bed. After an hour or so we went back to the visitor center, kids got the Ranger badges just in time for the visitor center close. We had a quick snack outside, and said goodbye to Charlotte and Mariah. We headed south and turned left to Walsenburg, while Charlotte turned right and went to Alamosa.
We drove around a gigantic mountain, through the beautiful plains, then through a canyon that took us past the Spanish peaks. We went through the little town of Walsenburg, which seemed a little rundown and worse for the wear. I had been through Walsenburg years before on a crazy bike trip I took with my father and brother back in 1981. We rode from Trinidad to Pueblo, Colorado, the next day to La Junta, and the final day back to Trinidad. We passed through Walsenburg for a quick lunch on the way north to Pueblo. This was in the time long before lycra shorts and fancy helmets, and even before panniers and multiple water bottles. Most of the riding we did was on freeways–roads are few and far between in these parts.
We arrived at La Junta around 9, and since it was Monday almost all the restaurants are closed except for Sonic. That was OK, we got some burgers and tater tot’s, and of course some cherry limeade’s to drink, and took them to the motel where we stayed up late watching American Pickers.

1 Comment

  1. Presley


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