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:
DAY FOUR STATS:
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