Friday, April 26, 2013

"W" is for White Sands

My husband, Jim, and I traveled this great country of ours for SEVEN years in our RV. We saw many wonderful sights, visited famous and not so famous cities, and wandered through many a National Park. I have blogged through all our travels. I've stumbled upon the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013". I decided to jump on board this crazy train and share with all of you places I have seen in my travels.

Day 23 "Blogging from A-Z Challenge"!

is for White Sands National Mon.

Did you know that there are sand dunes in New Mexico? They are in the White Sands National Monument, which is centered in the bottom 1/3 of the state, and located just west of the town of Alamagordo. It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The dunes are very active, especially in the northeast area of the 275 square miles (115 of which is located within the monument), and can move up to 30 feet a year!

As we were driving in, we looked to the West and saw the blowing sand. We could easily see how the sand dunes shift!

This is the road closer to the dunes. Again you can see the blowing sand in the distance. This is definitely not an area for contact wearers!

We parked our truck and walked a ways on the sand. (Which wasn't easy, by any means!)

But the scenery was so beautiful, I just couldn't resist!

This is called a "plant pedestal". This is what is left when part of a dune is covered with sumac, rosemarymint or saltcedar. The "pedestal" remains when the dune moves. This one may not seem so big.....

but when you see my 6'2" husband standing next to it, he is dwarfed by the sheer size of the pedestal.

The yucca plant is one of the plants that survives in this kind of environment. As the dune grows taller, the plant actually elongates its stem, growing upward as much as a foot a year to keep its leaves above the sand.

As we drove further into the area, we had to remind ourselves that this was SAND, and not SNOW. The road was scraped clean as if it WERE snow, though. Look at this!

Then we came upon some kids sliding down the dunes with a saucer sled!  Don't be fooled by their coats! It was about 65 degrees outside! Again! Think Sand!

Here is a short clip of them sliding down the sand dune.

Before visiting White Sands National Monument, check on their website to see if there is any closures due to any testing at the White Sands Missile Range which is located nearby.

Thanks for stopping by!


Brian Miller said...

wow...that plant pedestal is cool the variety of the landscape of our world...

JoJo said...

That's COOL! It does look like snow!

Adam said...

it's true to it's name :)

Lynn said...

The sledding looks like fun. Oh to be young again!

onlinephduk said...

Well this is a really interesting idea, must be a great experience to visit so many beautiful places. Thank you for sharing all the knowledge and pictures, it was really nice to learn so many things from your post. I would really consider visiting the White Sands sometimes, they look amazing.

onlinephduk said...
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