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White Sands: Serene, stark, vast and unique…

Posted by on October 11, 2014

Being here was an almost surreal experience.

OCTOBER 11, 2014.

WHITE SANDS, NEW MEXICO. Only one word in the English language describes this place. The word is “unbelievable.” It doesn’t matter how long you stand atop these glistening white hills, staring infinitely beyond the white abyss with the craggy dark mountains in the distance…the only word that describes it is “unbelievable.” Located near the city of Alamogordo, New Mexico the monument is a 275 square mile field of white sand dunes, some reaching 70 feet in the air, composed of gypsum crystals. It’s the largest gypsum dune field in the world. Unlike quartz-based sand crystals, gypsum does not readily convert the sun’s energy into heat and thus these dunes can be walked upon safely with bare feet, even in the hottest summer months.

TIME AND WIND WORK TOGETHER. This is one of those places where you can physically see how time and wind work together to shape the world. Visiting is an experience so unique and so moving that it can’t be captured even with the most expensive camera. It’s an adventure where you have to lace up your hiking shoes and see it to believe it. Don’t miss this, if you ever have a chance to visit.


Footprint in the Sand.

WHITE SANDS AND THE MILITARY. The monument was created by President Herbert Hoover in 1933, acting under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906. It is completely surrounded by military installations: White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base, and has always had an uneasy relationship with the military. Errant missiles have on occasion fallen on the White Sands property, destroying some of the dunes. Overflights from Holloman sometimes disturb the tranquility of the area. Because the park lies completely within the missile range, both the park and U.S. Route 70 between Las Cruces, New Mexico and Alamogordo are subject to closure for safety reasons when tests are conducted on the missile range. This happens about twice a week, for a duration of one to two hours. Located on the northernmost boundary the Trinity Site can be found, where the first atom bomb was detonated.



Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.


Life is not obvious here. It is implied, or twice removed and must be read in signs or codes. Ripple marks tell of the wind’s way with individual grains of sand. Footprints, mounds and burrows bespeak the presence of mice, pocket gophers and foxes.



Florence calls it a touchdown!



“A balancing act.”

White Sands FAA B-White

Appears to be “Winter Wonderland”  in the middle of the desert! Florence looks like she’s riding a skateboard. She’s not.

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