Monday, June 27, 2011

Day Five! Ow, That Sand is Really Freakin' Hot!

We missed getting into Great Sand Dunes National Park the day before so we pack up and leave Lake San Luis early and book it over to the Dunes. The "Campsite is Full" sign is down so that's a good sign. We pay the entrance fee to the park and the Ranger says there should still be some spots. Excellent. Get to the Ranger that runs the campground and she says to drive thru and pick any spot that says "open" and come back to claim it. Lots of people are already doing this so we make haste to find a spot and happen upon a nice one with a great view where a family is packing up to leave. I leave Angie with LeTigre to hold the spot and ride my bike back to the Ranger's hut to reserve it. While doing all this I catch a glimpse of another Tiger...not an old one like ours but a brand new one! By the time I get back the owner, Kathy, has seen LeTigre and is chatting with Angie. We talk a little and she offers us a tour or her Tiger which we decide to do later that night so that we can get out to the Dunes before it gets much hotter.

Sweet camp spot!
We set up camp and get to try the fridge on propane for the first time since these are primitive sites (no power or water). We've had electric everywhere else and then switch to 12Volt while driving to our next destination. Once camped we grab whatever we need and head to the Dunes.
The Great Sand Dunes have been formed over thousands of years by wind that piles up sand grains in an alcove at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Looks like a little Sahara Desert surrounded by mountains.
It's quite beautiful... and the sand gets up to 140 degrees in a hurry!
Kipper and I find this out the hard way because we're walking around barefoot in the sand. We climb around on the dunes until it's unbearable and head down to where a creek runs out onto the sand and makes sort of a beach like atmosphere. The sand is wet so it doesn't scald your feet. After that we had to run across the scorching sand back to the trail to get to the campsite.
Poor Kipper, no permanent damage.

 At this point the sand is just beginning to hurt...

So we retreat to the cool, wet sand.

We spend mid day lounging about. Angie got to try out her hammock, that was a hit. That afternoon the wind picked up so we retreated into LeTigre until the sunset.

Lazy bums...

Another great sunset

Had pasta for dinner, mmm.

That evening we drop in on Kathy to check out her new Tiger RV. Wow, it's amazing. They quit building them on Astro vans when the Astro was discontinued and now only build them on one ton 4x4 pickups. They can go almost anywhere. Kathy was a wealth of information. Everytime we mentioned a destination on our route she had been there and offered great advice. She is well-traveled to say the least. Kathy came by as we were packing up the next morning and got a look at LeTigre too. We laughed about the similarities because the interior layout hasn't changed much, it's just been refined, very refined.
Hopefully our paths will cross again down the road!

I joked with Kathy that Tiger owners were like a cult and she agreed. In fact, she had just come from a Tiger owners rally the previous weekend in CO. We barely missed it!

Hard to believe LeTigre has evolved into this! This is a very capable rig.
Me want!

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