A Photo Journey Through White Sands Nat'l Monument

 

Soaking in all the views (and wind) that White Sands National Monument has to offer.

We were standing atop the crest of a giant mound of sand and for as far as my eyes would reach were white, wavy rolling hills sprawled out in front of us. With a view as magnificent as this, I fantasized that we had accomplished something grand. It gave me the sense of domination. My hair whipping in the wind, my ankles tickled by the granules that were blowing across them, and us perfectly placed in the middle of it all with 360 degree views of amazing! No trails to hike, nothing to see or do, no hidden attractions. Just here to witness the sand, and only the sand. We were beyond thrilled to finally be experiencing the glory of White Sands National Monument!

On our way south to Big Bend National Park in Texas, we had one place on our minds as a halfway point, that being the unique landscape of White Sands National Monument. We have conquered Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado (go if you haven't!!) and much of northern New Mexico since Durango is, well, practically on the border, but we had yet to venture further south to the brilliant and rare sand oasis that awaits in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. 

What makes this place different from the rest is that it's the world's largest gypsum sand dunefield (also note: the sand is cool to the touch unlike the scalding hot sand of other dune favorites). These wavelike dunes have covered 275 square miles of desert in southeastern New Mexico and while I've seen countless stunning images of this place, seeing it in person tops them all!

  A quick stop at the Visitor Center to learn about White Sands.

A quick stop at the Visitor Center to learn about White Sands.

We arrived in the early afternoon and jumped straight on the 8 mile loop road that left from the Visitor Center out to the dune fields. Within a few miles the pavements appearance changed from black asphalt to dustings of sand to a completely white road reminiscent of snow. It felt like our minds were playing tricks on us and we were actually transported back to a snowy destination. But when we hopped out of Spud, the temperature told us otherwise. We hope you enjoy our photo collage of White Sands, and if you have the opportunity to visit one day, you too will enter an incredible playground for all ages!

First steps and first glances out into the vastness of White Sands.

  Release the inner child: NOW!

Release the inner child: NOW!

  Rolling in the sand and getting it in every crevice of your body is totally acceptable.

Rolling in the sand and getting it in every crevice of your body is totally acceptable.

Dad's still got it!

Spud had a lot of fun too - and we often had to remind ourselves that we were on sand, not snow!

Handstand...check. Thought my arms might go out on me there!

Sunset at White Sands

We enjoyed ourselves so much (can you tell?) that we made the decision to come back for sunset. First, we headed into the town of Alamagordo to kill some time. We found a pretty rad park and an underwhelming meal at a highly-rated Mexican restaurant. Finally the sun began to sink in the sky and as our opportunity to catch the sun setting over White Sands began. Trust me, if you ever go, make sure you don't skip the sunset. Beautiful takes on a whole new meaning. 

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  The sand hills are alive...

The sand hills are alive...

Cake Consumption at Holloman Lake with Friends

We were lucky enough to share a campsite with some of our favorite van friends, Casey, Ransom, and K2. We met them in real life in Montana over beers, though earlier via the 'net. Now in New Mexico we added up all the places we traveled together this year: Montana, Oregon, California, Baja Mexico, and New Mexico. Think you can't make friends on the road? That's kind of what we thought. But we've met some of the best out there and somehow when you do, you find yourselves altering plans and taking different roads in order to see each other "just one last time!" 

Here at Holloman Lake (FREE CAMPING NEXT TO WHITE SANDS!!!), we celebrated Casey's birthday with cheese cake. At 9 am. Breakfast of champions!

  I failed to take pictures of our friends this go round but here are our vans... @everyroadleadstohome and @wehitpause

I failed to take pictures of our friends this go round but here are our vans... @everyroadleadstohome and @wehitpause

  Happy Birthday, Casey!!

Happy Birthday, Casey!!

Until Next Time...

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Thanks for joining us at White Sands! 

Love, 

Lindsay, Chip, Reid, and Bennett