White Sands

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White Sands Lizard

White Sands

Posted in : Uncategorized on by : Bill York

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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.
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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.
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They have to plow the sand because it blows around and covers the roads.
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I saw some of the local wildlife – white earless lizards.
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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.
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I stopped for lunch and tried to take advantage of the shade as much as possible.
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After lunch I took off and started going west again.