Wednesday, May 3, 2017

White Sands National Park

While driving from Arizona to New Mexico, we found out from a fellow RVer about White Sands National Monument. We'd never even heard of it before he told us. He said, "You have to stop at White Sands, you're going right by it! You can even park your RV in the parking lot."

And so to break up the long drive that day, we did. After we parked our RV in the parking lot and got sleds from the gift shop, we unhooked our tow car and drove in.

On the way in, we were treated to beautiful views like this.

"Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world's largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here." 

The gypsum sands look like snow! But make no mistake, the sunny heat let us know we were undoubtedly in the desert. 

The gypsum is so white and vast! Despite it looking desolate, White Sands actually houses quite and ecosystem of plants, mammals, amphibians, fish and birds. You can read more on their website if you're curious. We didn't see any, but our visit was also quite short because of the heat. 

In the gift shop they also sold wax to wax the bottoms of the sleds. Sand isn't exactly the smoothest thing to slide down - lots of friction in sand! 

Long walks up the hill in the desert heat!

View of the parking lot from where I was taking phots of them sledding.

Marching back up that hill!

Many walks up this hill in the heat and dry made for a much shorter visit. We quickly finished our water and were wanting more, which was back in the RV. We were not exactly prepared enough. 

But our short visit was a beautiful one nonetheless. We were really glad we made this stop. 

There's a missile testing site right next to it and White Sands is often closed because of missile testing. Luckily on this day it was open to the public. 

Here are some videos. Sledding the white sands. Please ignore the sound in the background, that's Muffins the Pug trying to release some of the heat. She sounds terrible, I know. 

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