White Sands

White Sands

 photo IMG_3856.jpg

I went to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.  The area is covered by white sand dunes and interesting creatures like white lizards.  The dunes are made of gypsum that washed down out of the nearby mountains into salty lakes.  The area is in a basin that does not drain to a river or ocean.  As the water evaporates it leaves the gypsum behind which is then pushed around by the wind and breaks down into grains of sand.
 photo 20160826_104819.jpg

As you start out from the visitors center there is a mixture of vegetation in the dunes, but as you get further along, it is just sand dunes.
 photo 20160826_111216.jpg

They have to plow the sand because it blows around and covers the roads.
 photo IMG_3862.jpg

I saw some of the local wildlife – white earless lizards.
 photo 20160826_115109.jpg
 photo 20160826_115509.jpg

I went for a hike in the sand dunes on a portion of the Alkali Flat Trail, but the scenery all pretty much looked the same after a few dunes so I turned back.  They have the trail marked so you can find your way back, similar to how cross country ski trails are marked in the winter up north.
 photo 20160826_120040.jpg
 photo GOPR5651.jpg
 photo GOPR5661.jpg

I stopped for lunch and tried to take advantage of the shade as much as possible.
 photo 20160826_123031.jpg

After lunch I took off and started going west again.

Share with your friends