February 26, 2013

The Land Of White Sands

After spending two days on the border of Mexico in El Paso, Texas, we headed back inland into the state of New Mexico. On this loop of our trip we're hoping to repeat as few locations as possible from the ones we saw on our last loop around the US, but White Sands National Monument was just so astounding last time that we couldn't pass through New Mexico without stopping in again. Although the afternoon we picked could have been slightly less windy (read: 40 ml/hr wind gusts), the park proved itself just as amazing as we'd remembered it. Instead of writing a long post about what all was so amazing, I'll let pictures speak for themselves.

Driving into the White Sands National Monument
Driving into the White Sands park
White Sands National Monument
Sand, sand everywhere!
White Sands National Monument
We have arrived!
White Sands National Monument
Playing on the dunes
We spent the afternoon running around on the dunes, trying not to get sand in our eyes. Little did I know that by the end of the day I would have sand in my hair, my eyes and my ears (!), not to mention a pound or so of it in my shoes. (Ha, the park rangers didn't know it..but I got away with loads of sand samples!) When the wind blew particularly hard, it was like we were caught in a blizzard. Quite epic really, I loved every moment of it!

White Sands National Monument
Sand storm!
White Sands National Monument
Sand angel
White Sands National Monument
Sand stand
White Sands National Monument
This was where I got sand all in my camera lens
In the evening we joined a park ranger on a Sunset Stroll ranger walk and talk. He took us deep into the dunes to explain vegetation, animal life and the history of the park. It also gave us a chance to get some awesome sunset pictures!

White Sands National Monument
Sunset at the White Sands
White Sands National Monument Sunset
Good night!
The park offers first come, first served tent camping opportunities on the sands, and we'd originally planned to stay the night in the park in hopes of getting some epic photographs. BUT, then we looked at the forecast, which called for high winds along with temperatures in the 30s, and all of a sudden our nice, warm trailer sounded much better. I'm not quite that hardy when it comes to sticking it out for that one good picture.So, instead we got back on the road after the park closed and drove on I-10 until we came across a truck stop at mile marker 68. It was well after dark at this point, so we figured this would be our best option. It turned out to not be so bad...we fell right asleep, lulled into slumber by humming diesel engines.

To see more pictures of the White Sands National Monument, click here.

Happy White Sands Dreaming,


P.S. One note to self: exposed camera lens plus wind plus sand equals bad things.

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  1. Great photos. I've never heard of this place until coming across this on your blog.

    1. Oh its amazing. If you're coming from Las Vegas I'd recommend going through Flagstaff, then through the Petrified Forest National Park and then south to the White Sands when you get to New Mexico. Beautiful country through there!