The County Trip Day 4: The Gang spends Mother’s Day in the Sand May 14th, 2006 at 6:47pm

Today, Sunday, May 14, was our fourth day on the road. Hmm… wasn’t today something special? Oh yeah…

Happy Mother’s Day, Moms! Thanks for all you’ve done for us over the years. This sign was taped to the Chaffee County Courthouse in Salida, look for it in our courthouse photos further down.. Don’t worry, we took it down! (Also, thanks Dad, for teaching me how to make these paper signs when I was little! -Dan)

We camped last night at Trinidad State Park, outside Trinidad. It’s quite a pretty place! Somebody took the spot we reserved, but we got this cooler one anyway.

In the morning, we stopped at the Ludlow Massacre Memorial outside Ludlow, Colorado. The memorial comemmorates the death of a bunch of mine workers (the exact number is disputed) who, after striking in 1914 against unsafe working conditions, were killed at this site by a militia put together by mine owners.

This creaky metal door leads down to an underground room where women and children hidden from the battle were killed by smoke from the burning workers’ camp. The memorial is pretty poignant; we’ve definitely come a long way since then.

In the next town, we found that the Pueblo Chieftan fancies themselves the number 1 newspaper in the nation! Keep dreaming, Pueblo. (Not that Boulder’s Colorado Daily could really put up any competition.)

On the eastern plains, there was lots of dust, and lots of wind. That meant lots of these: dust devils! They’re really neat to watch, like miniature tornadoes.

We visited the Sand Dunes National Monument today! Here, you see the cool, soft sand in our toes. What you don’t see is the same sand in our ears, eyes, noses, pants, underwear, pockets, and pretty much everywhere else.

Here we are trudging across the dunes. Walking in sand is like walking in deep snow: extremely slow-going. You can walk for ten minutes and hardly get anywhere!

It was a windy day, so the cool footprints we left were gone in only a few seconds. The dunes are amazing, and look pristine!

Lots of dunes are quite steep. Here’s Ryan rolling down.

Kristina, preparing to roll, waiting for the wind to subside.

Here’s Kristina rolling down the dunes. She ended up with a pound of sand in her hair.

Dan’s rolling. He forgot to close his mouth, and got a mouthful of gritty sand. Yum.

Wandering around aimlessly. Getting lost out here would be tragic: all the dunes look the same.

When you’ve spent four days in a car, a gigantic sandbox is incredibly fun to play in! If you ever get a chance, check out the dunes. On the right, you can see advancing stormclouds; we couldn’t stay long!

Kristina made sand angels before we left.

Out on the eastern plains, we hit a crazy, but short rainstorm! Click here to hear what it sounded like (80KB WAV file). It was almost deafening.

In Salida, CO, we stopped at Wal-Mart to get supplies. Kristina has never, ever been in a Wal-Mart. She opted not to break her streak, and stayed in the car.

Kristina missed out! The boys got bouncy balls. Frickin’ sweet.

Today was our last day of flat driving for a while! Plains, we hardly knew ye. Tomorrow, it’s back into the mountains of the Southwest, where we’ll spend a few days.

Before we get to the county photos, here’s a contest! We’re running out of ideas for creative poses in front of courthouses. If you’ve got any ideas, post them in the comments. If they’re good, you can bet we’ll do ‘em.

We visited 7 county seats today. Here’s the proof:

Walsenburg, Huerfano County

San Luis, Costilla County

Conejos, Conejos County

Alamosa, Alamosa County. Ryan’s such a bully.

Del Norte, Rio Grande County

Saguache, Saguache County

Salida, Chaffee County. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Our progress so far:


Miles Traveled – 352
County Seats Visited – 7
Percent of counties done – 51.6% (Past Halfway!)

Walsenburg (Huerfano County) 5/14/06 9:08 AM
San Luis (Costilla County) 5/14/06 10:30 AM
Conejos (Conejos County) 5/14/06 11:26 AM
Alamosa (Alamosa County) 5/14/06 12:06 PM
Del Norte (Rio Grande County) 5/14/06 3:44 PM
Saguache (Saguache County) 5/14/06 4:49 PM
Salida (Chaffee County) 5/14/06 6:16 PM

Albums listened to:

  • KBCO Studio C Volume 17
  • Lou Barlow – EMOH
  • Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  • Eels – Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Decemberists – Castaways and Cutouts
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket – Dulcinea
  • Weird Al Yankovic – Running With Scissors

12 Responses to “The County Trip Day 4: The Gang spends Mother’s Day in the Sand”

  1. Dans Uncle Phil says:

    Looks like you are enjoying your trip. Its great your sharing it w/ all of us on the internet blog..Have fun,drive safe. :)

  2. Bradley says:

    Look for “Pickle In A Pouch.” It’s a freak of food items.

  3. Bradley says:

    posing ideas:
    closer shots of you (wanna see if Dan’s facial hair has grown)
    lineup by age
    lineup by height
    sit on your cooler
    get your car in the photo
    mile high salute
    more 3d, vertical from camera

    also, please post total miles traveled so far

    love the photos and comments of side trips

    Nick’s mom & dad

  4. billy says:

    I’d post some shots of kristine handing out some ‘justice’ to the boys. Giant gavel is preferable.

  5. billy says:

    also, the vishnu style army thing is always cool, as is exaggerated perspective… and i thought you were a bunch of photo geeks

  6. citrus_cactus says:

    Hey Kristina! I’ve been following you guys’ blog since you sent me the link a few days ago. Looks like you’re having fun– the whole blog thing was an awesome idea!

    I don’t have many photo ideas yet, but here are a few:

    -all of you jumping in the air at the same time
    -headstands/handstands (if you’re like me and can’t do either of those, just have two people holding the other two up in a handstand or something…)
    -piggyback rides

    If I think of more, I’ll let you know!

  7. Mom and Dad of Kristina says:

    Your guys will remember this trip
    rest of your life. Enjoy it!

  8. Susanne says:

    I like how you list the music that you listen to during the day- and I loved the Abby Road picture. So I suggest that you re-inact the album covers of the music you listen to that day. Susanne

  9. Shiway & Dave says:

    Kristina – you’ve NEVER been inside a Walmart?!?! you might be competing with Dad’s record of never being inside the Flatirons mall…..
    Shi & Dave

  10. Dans Dad says:

    Looking forward to your arrival in Basalt. Have you guys had a shower since Colorado Springs? Just wondering. Fabreeze in laundry room cabinet.

  11. Dans Dad says:

    Pose idea: Stand on heads; post photo upsidedown.

  12. Aaron says:


Leave a Reply