Feeling rejuvenated after our lovely hike through Devil’s Haul in the Guadalupe Mountains, we sat in the truck, road atlas in lap, contemplating “what next?” Everyone we ran into insisted we visit the Carlsbad Caverns. For some unknown reason this did not interest either one of us; perhaps due to our love of the outdoors and sunshine, touring dark caves didn’t entice us.
Instinctively not listening to the masses we headed out towards the White Sands of New Mexico. The name in and of itself tempted me, but this choice of direction definitely included a detour. “Oh well” we thought, it will be an adventure! We were not disappointed. We had to drive up and over a mountain range through a small town called Cloud Cover. Who knew New Mexico had ski slopes!? On our descent in altitude the landscape gradually shifted from mountains, to farms, to desert and in the distance suddenly, The White Sands seemed to appear out of nowhere.
A large white sparkling sea of Gypsum sand placed in the middle of a brown, otherwise un-contrasting landscape. Nature is amazing and full of surprises, right? Or are all the conspiracy theories we’ve heard since visiting the shockingly out-of-place “natural occurrence” true? This was previously a nuclear playground for the Unites States Government. Could this have had an effect on the historic lakebed? Giant white crystals sticking out of the ground just seem a little too magical. Either way, the monument was amazing. I felt as if I was on another planet, climbing the large dunes and jumping off into endless soft white sand. The skyline was a dreamscape; a mini white Sahara in the Western US.