I woke up and found myself missing the mountains of SW Colorado a bit already however I had a lot more yet to see and it would start with a run to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in SE Colorado which is nestled up against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. After a quick breakfast I hit the road and before long got to the Parks Entrance. I had heard conflicting reports as to whether they still allowed motorcycles across the Medano Pass Primitive road so I inquired at the entrance to the park. The ranger told me it was open but that travel across it by motorcycle was discouraged due to the deep sand that had to be crossed. Personally, I stopped listening at "Yes, it's open...", I saw folks that looked no larger than tiny specs against the dunes climbing them on foot. Like most pictures of the huge landscapes out here my photos can't even begin to convey the actual scale. Made my way over the the start of the pass and had to admit that the Ranger hadn't been exaggerating much about the nature of the sand along the first part of the trail. It was soft, dry, and fairly deep in spots. The combined weight of my bike and my gear made it a pretty good work out. As usual, I tended to take pictures in places I was comfortable stopping, and those were not the worst parts. After a couple of miles the road moved into the brush and trees along the base of the mountain and the shade brought welcome relief from the sun and the sand became firmer and easy to navigate. I took a quick break to cool off and relax having gotten through the sandy bottom without incident. The trail became tight and narrow in spots which warranted the other caution that I now vaguely recalled the Ranger had mentioned as I had ridden off from the Gate to the park - "Watch out for two-way traffic". I ran across a couple of full size trucks coming the other way at one point and had to practically lay the bike on it's side at the edge of the trail to give them enough room to pass. If two trucks meet someone would either have to back up a LONG way or drive up into the brush I reckon. The sign cautions folks to slow down in the several creek crossings to avoid downing their motors. That was pretty good advice because a few of them were deep considering how short of a crossing they were. Before starting the climb up the mountain the road became a fast open flowing two-track which was a lot of fun to pick up the pace a bit on. The road up over the pass flashed by without me seeing anything I felt compelled to stop for a picture of. The other side of the pass is a well maintained gravel road that leads out to Hwy 69. I turned the bike north once on the highway and set my sights on Canon City where parts of moms family still live. I decided I would get a hotel and enjoy another night of Air conditioning as I entered Canon City and was greeted with temps reading as high as 105 degrees on my air temp gauge. Tomorrow I would ride north towards Garden Park and make a decision if I would pop in for a visit with my Colorado cousins, aunts and uncles that I hadn't seen in 40 years unannounced, or not.