Come with me on our family adventure to The Great Sand Dunes National Park.

We were headed east on our why back home from visiting family in Silverton Colorado. Normally when its time to leave and head back home, I'm always a little down, saying goodbye to the mountains within 4 hours of our 14 hour drive home.

But not this time. This time I planned a pit stop. A pit stop that put off for way too long. We were headed to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Nature Preserve in Colorado.

The drive seemed like it went on forever. Any time we drove near mountains again, the road would change direction and soon they would be disappearing off into the distance. But that all changed, the second we saw it on google maps. The turn. The turn that would take us off this long dreaded road to no where, and onto a path to somewhere. The skies started to build with storm clouds as the anticipation boiled. Finally this long awaited destination, lay a few miles in front of us.

By the time we got there, we immediately set up camp. We are not strangers to the Colorado monsoon season, thunder was rolling beyond the mountains and we knew it was only a matter of time. Once set up, we met up with family, ditched our tents, and ventured off to explore some lesser traveled places

We drove down a primitive 4 wheel drive road that leads out past the camp ground. The road winds all the way to the back of the dunes where we met up with little desert shrubs, picnic tables and a small trail to the dunes. The dunes were very steep here, but our kids seemed to love it and there was not another soul around. Unfortunately the storm was quickly over head and lightning was striking way too close for comfort, so we loaded into the safety of our cars and headed back to our campsite.

Once we arrived, I could see the storms above the back side of the dunes, but the parks main entrance to the dunes, was still mildly clear. So of course, I convinced my husband and kids to load up and go down to the dunes for some epic sunset pictures.

The sun coming down below the storm cloud was more beautiful by the second. When we made it to the stream that flows around the dunes, our view was like a scene from a movie. The moment that forever made the decision to go down there completely worth it.

And while it was epic...

I was not prepared for what came with.

Ninja Blade Sand...

zipping at us like tiny daggers. I only thought I was prepared for a storm. I had brought gear to protect us from falling rain, but I'm not sure why wind blowing sand never occurred to us. Even my husband who has had plenty of sand storm experience.

Both my kids with bare legs, my husband bare on both his arms and legs.. and me just trying to tuck my camera inside my rain jacket as tightly as I could.

And I'm not even sure what's going on in our pups mind at this point. I think she's pretty sure she got adopted by the looniest family in the world. (If you notice we didn't even have her leash. So we used 550 cord instead.)

We didn't even make it to the first tiny dune, before turning back around. At this point my daughter refusing to go any further, so my husband now carrying her, holding the sled and holding the 550 cord leash pulling dog.

Shoes were lost, tears were shed and I don't think I've ever felt so much relief getting back in the car and going to our campsite.

Luckily the campsite stayed dry and the sky just kept showing off for the rest of the night.

The next morning was a gorgeous one and we knew we had to get up and get on the dunes before the sand was too hot. We pulled up to the dunes after eating a feast of breakfast around 9:45am.

Few people were out, the sun was warm and the sand was soft and squishy between our toes.

The feeling of evil ninja blades slowly disappearing from my mind.

After spending the morning on the dunes, it was time to pack up and go home. We said goodbye to our family, packed up the car, and hit the road.

A bittersweet moment as we drove down the desolate road that leads away from the dunes. Tired kids, exhausted puppy and a couple parents ready for some peace and quiet. We came up on this sign and I couldn't help but giggle. It really doesn't say nowhere and anywhere, but thats really what it feels like when you are here, and know what is in both directions.