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Travelogue: Southwest Roadtrip – White Sands

October 2015

You guys. This place was SO AWESOME! It had been on my bucket list foreverrrrrrrrr. I single handedly decided that we were going to see it on this trip. I didn’t really care if 7 hours of driving was too much. I. Was. Going. To. See. The. White. Sand. Dunes. Damnit.

And it was totally worth ALL THE DRIVING. The White Sands National Monument is in southern New Mexico. Like, almost to Mexico. It’s surrounded by a whole lot of nothing. It sits within the military’s missile testing range and next to an air force base. So basically, you have to really want to see this place in order to make a go of it. The closest bit of civilization is El Paso, TX — so I think if (no, when) I return, I’ll do so using El Paso as a base.

Anyway, the dunes are enormous and made entirely of white sand — made up of gypsum crystals. It was hot hot hot in the desert, but the white sand was cool on my feet. It absorbs no heat. It felt surreal to walk on it.

Vegas AZ New Mex__141Vegas AZ New Mex__146Vegas AZ New Mex__147Vegas AZ New Mex__148Vegas AZ New Mex__151Vegas AZ New Mex__152Vegas AZ New Mex__153Vegas AZ New Mex__155Vegas AZ New Mex__157Vegas AZ New Mex__158To quote Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park: life finds a way.
Vegas AZ New Mex__165Ahhh cool sand.
Vegas AZ New Mex__166Vegas AZ New Mex__167I experienced a similar frustration trying to photograph this place as I did at the Grand Canyon. The dunes are just so massive and expansive — pics can’t do them justice.