Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 7

We had hoped to spend the day in Taos, but after reviewing New Mexico’s travel restrictions we decided not to go. Individuals traveling to New Mexico from states deemed high-risk based on COVID-positivity rates were required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their entry into New Mexico or for the duration of…

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: 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…

Sheltering in a Place Apart

Little did we know on March 22 that we would spend the next eight weeks sheltering in place at Hampshire amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jon began working from home on March 18, and will likely continue doing so until at least June. We’ve limited out outings to shopping for essentials, and then only Cliff goes…

Coastal Christmas, Day 5

It’s been said that all good things must come to an end, and so we concluded our coastal Christmas with a typical “weekday” breakfast before packing up and heading home to Dallas. Our days at the beach were made memorable by spectacular sunsets, mild temperatures, warm ocean breezes, waves crashing on the shore, and the…

Coastal Christmas, Day 4

The fourth day of our coastal Christmas found us at the beach, walking barefoot in the surf as we collected seashells. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of warm, wet sand between your toes. At one point, Cliff cleaned his shoes on some Sargassum (seaweed) that had washed ashore. The name seaweed is actually a…