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I visited Colorado during August 2003, but only the south and the west part. The first stop wasthe Great Sand Dunes National Park. Yep, sand dunes in the middle of the USA :) They form against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and are about 200m high. They are formed from sand from the Rio Grande River bed, read more about their formation here. I climbed the dunes on a very hot day, it was hard to reach the tops!! To my suprise, I saw hummingbirds there as well. I spent some time trying to take photos of them, which is difficult since they are very fast.
We stayed at the campsite of the park, at a spot with a great view towards the dunes! Some thunderstorms were passing by. At night, the rangers come to check if you have put away all your food because there are bears here! I was so scared, and it was quite windy at night so the tent was constantly moving - for me every sound ment a bear was on its way to eat me, so I hardly got any sleep. The next morning we woke up with the best view possible - the dunes in the morning sun!
The next stop was the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a very narrow and deep canyon. At the highest point, the canyon is 800m deep!
The next day we visited Colorado National Monument, again a canyon park, but very different from the Black Canyon. I liked this park a lot, great views!
We made a short trip to Utah to visit Arches National Park, but we returned to Colorado to visit Mesa Verde National Park. For me, this was a welcome change of all the canyons, this park is more a cultural experience. You can see cave dwellings of the Pueble Indians here, they are very impressive.
In the distance from the campsite near Mesa Verde, there was a beautiful distant thunderstorm.
It was constantly flashing. Check out the large version of the photo for the constellations Scorpio (on the right) and Sagitarrius (on the left, this is my sign - I was a bit disappointed that it looks like a teapot ;) )
I hope to return to Colorado one day, there's still so much to see!
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