(CNN) - Southern Colorado is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country. Where the steep, dark-green slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains hit the valley floor, they are met by towering sand dunes that sprawl across more than 30 square miles. The highest dunes rise more than 700 feet into the air -- about the height of the tallest skyscraper in many American cities. This landscape has been crafted over tens of thousands of years, as winds blowing over the mountains dropped grains of sand, which slowly morphed into the dunes we see today.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I went camping in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and hiking in Great Sand Dunes National Park. I've traveled a lot and spent a lot of time in different wilderness areas, but I have to say -- this was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
This is an excerpt from an opinion piece that was published by CNN. The full piece is available on CNN.com, here.