Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sand Dunes National Park

The kids had fall break and we decided to make a trip down to southern Colorado.  The timing worked well as I had to be in Walsenburg on Friday around lunchtime anyway.

The drive down was not bad.  We got on the road mid morning and had lunch at the Denver Biscuit Company in Colorado Springs.  While the biscuit sandwiches were good, my favorite was the fries with mushroom gravy.  We then pushed to Walsenburg where I had about 30 minutes of work to do.  Then we pushed to Sand Dunes Recreation.

This is a real gem that was constructed around hot water which was struck in the 1930's.  The result was balmy pools and a great little restaurant.  We swam around in the water which was in the mid 80's and played on the diving boards.  We also got some snacks.  The $2 chicken tacos are not to be missed and rival my top choice of all the dining we did on this trip.

After swimming we headed to Alamosa to check into the Hampton Inn.  For dinner we decided on Locavores which is a locally sourced eatery.  While my wife and daughter were not impressed with their dishes, I enjoyed the Colorado Cuban.  It was a warm pita filled with pulled pork, a thick slice of ham, swiss cheese and pickled vegetables.

It was here that I found a nice set of Charcuterie Spreaders.  I have been into cheeses lately and this cute set struck my eye and the $17.99 price tag be damned.  For reference, cheese spreaders can be found for $10-$30 on Amazon.

We all got a good nights rest and woke to try out the Hampton Inn breakfast which included cheese omelets (not good), maple sausage (meh), cereal, yogurt, muffins, juices and coffee.  The kids played in the pool and we headed to the Sand Dunes, stopping for an early lunch at El Super Taco.

El Super Taco was a locals referral that we chose because Calvillo's Mexican Restaurant was closed.  We ordered a chicken quesadilla, potato egg and cheese breakfast burrito and a chicken burrito.  All were tasty and a good value, but the breakfast burrito was my favorite.

We arrived at the Sand Dunes and picked up a map and headed to the Visitor Center, which was mostly closed and there was a long line to get into what few exhibits there were.  We quickly headed out and sought parking near the dunes.  The sand was tougher to navigate than I remember and none of us wore the proper footwear, whatever that may be.  We did hike in a ways and attempted to sled down on a snow sled.  Now I know why so many places rented sand sleds.  It was still fun.  After a few hours, we left the park for the drive home.

The kids mostly slept, but woke up hungry just south of Colorado Springs.  We opted for Antlers Wyndham Hotel which featured Duca's Neopolitin Pizza.  We ordered a pizza, build your own pasta and a Piadine (Folded Flatbread Sandwich).  It was actually a half Rosemary Ham Piadine and a half Greek Salad.  The atmosphere was good and service was quick.  While in downtown Colorado Springs we also grabbed a half dozen of Amy's Donuts, before getting back on the road.

The rest of the drive was uneventful and we got home around 9:00 PM.  It was a fun little get away weekend.

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