Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 6

The sixth day of our adventure began with the mundane tasks of responding to emails, blogging, brunching, and then heading into town for groceries and supplies. By the time we set out for Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, it was already mid-afternoon and searingly hot. At more than 750 feet, the dunes are…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 5

As we prepared to leave the Black Canyon area to head towards Great Sand Dunes, we took a few hours to simply relax, read The New York Times, blog, and enjoy brunch. We pulled out of Montrose in the mid-afternoon and began our 185-mile trek to Alamosa, the “gateway” to Great Sand Dunes. Our destination:…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 4

We dedicated the fourth day of our trip to exploring the floor beneath the South Rim of the Black Canyon, including the Gunnison River. We began the day at the Glass Doctor, having our driver’s window replaced and our windshield repaired. Five-hundred dollars later, we decided to get lunch while further supporting the local economy.…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 3

By the third day of our adventure, we finally made our way to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, featuring some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. Our hikes along the rim were limited to the distance from our truck to the overlooks, but the spectacular views were…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 2

The morning after the Great Storm, we emerged to survey the damage to the Amarillo KOA. Many people were walking around doing the same thing, and all were in a state of disbelief. We had survived the equivalent of a category 1 hurricane, with 70- to 80-mph straight-winds and 2-inch hail. The KOA had plenty…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 1

After our stressful preparation, we finally set off for our first overnight stay at the Amarillo KOA, a familiar stopping point along the way to many western destinations. The six-hour drive was uneventful, but as we pulled in to the campground, we could see some rather ominous-looking clouds on the horizon. A quick check of…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Prep

After a nearly two-month camping hiatus, we were finally able to prepare for what we called our Black Canyon, Brown Sands vacation–a visit to Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Great Sand Dunes national parks. We had wanted to visit both parks during our Rocky Mountain Adventure, but there wasn’t enough time. Our Fourth…

Everyone Poops

This weekend marked five years since we first began camping at Loyd Park, a little piece of paradise about a half-hour from our “sticks and bricks” home in Oak Cliff. It would be challenging to count the many weekends we’ve spent at our favorite backyard campground, and the many times we’ve extended our stay from…

A Dry Heat

Once upon a hot week in July, Jon decided to vacation in Phoenix. As the plane was about to land, the pilot announced that the temperature was 117 degrees. The woman in the next seat turned to Jon and said, “It’s a dry heat.” Jon responded, “It may be, but it’s still hot!” Our weekend…

Return to Loyd Park

We hadn’t been to Loyd Park since January, when we promised ourselves we would never return. At the start of 2020, the park implemented a price increase that made us reconsider Cedar Hill State Park as our weekend destination. After spending eight consecutive weekends at Cedar Hill SP, we were required to shelter from home…