White Sands National Monument - A beauty!!

Sleep eluded me. I was cold and I just couldn’t get comfortable in the makeshift bed and I am sure the first night sleeping at over 5,700 feet above sea level didn’t help. After a very fitful night’s sleep, the sun finally peaked over the horizon.  Daybreak!!! I scrambled out of the camper so fast Amy thought I had to make a run for the bathroom. 

I woke to fog shrouding the surrounding mountains.  I took my camera and walked a few trails.  I was so intent on the mountains around me that I almost walked into a small herd of mule deer. (Twice!)  I was within 30 ft or so before I noticed the first group.  I had my camera, but I had the wrong lens for a photo, a wide angle so you cannot see the deer at all.

We packed up and drove through absolutely nothing for 90 miles.  Beyond the occasional abandoned and decaying buildings along the route, old houses, motels, and other defunct businesses—we both thought it would be near impossible to operate any business along this road, and I guess we were right—there was only a solitary business open and otherwise a whole lot of nothing.  

We made it to Alamogordo, NM and Great White Sands Natl. Mon. I honestly didn’t think I’d be too impressed. Wrong! The park was nicely void of people. Not creepy empty but empty enough.  One of the great activities at this park is that you can get a sled from the visitor center and slide down the dunes—we saw children and adults alike doing it and all seemed to be having a blast.  

After shooting pics for two hours in the early afternoon super-bright sun, make sure you bring your sunglasses, we were ready to head to town to eat and find a motel.   We ate at Chili’s, dropped off our suitcases in the motel and headed back to the park for sunset. 

Once back at the park, we drove around a bit to find a nice spot and had a wonderful sun set and excellent light.  We left the park at 8:20 because at this park they close the gate on you at 8:30 sharp!!   See previous blog here.

Before we went into the motel for the night we both dumped out shoe-fulls of sand.  Our legs ached so badly from walking through the sand. We both slept great!