Monday, April 30, 2012

White Sands National Monument

One thing we learned early in our RVing travels was to have a plan B in effect or be ready to make a plan B.  These past few days were a good example of that.  We had planned on going to the White Sands National Monument for another visit.  We've been there three times in the past and have always enjoyed our time there.

The Monument is located right in the middle of the White Sands missile range and they had scheduled test firing of missiles a couple days ago.  They close down RT 70 when this happens and no traffic can go through.  To bypass this highway would entail a drive of well over 150 miles.  So much for that visit.

However, we took a lot of pictures the last time we were there and I thought I'd blog about them.  The entrance to the park is 50 miles east of Las Cruces via RT 70.  As you leave Las Cruces there is a long uphill and downhill grade that some RVs have trouble handling.  Our MH takes the uphill in stride and I use the transmission gears to help slow down on the descent side.  No real problem with a car since it is a good 4 lane highway to the park.

You can't miss the entrance to the park since it is the only building for miles around.  They have a nice visito'rs center with the usual souvenirs available for sale.  Make sure you take a lot of water with you on your visit if you go.  The moisture will be sucked right out of your body.

White Sands National Monument entrance

While the area is called white sands, the material is really gypsum covering 275 square miles of the desert.  It is so white that it easily passes for snow, until you feel the heat off the sands.

No, it isn't snow.

They have areas where you can walk out in the sands to check the plant life and wildlife living there.  One large area has a really nice boardwalk to make the viewing and walking a lot easier.

Boardwalk viewing area
 The dunes are forever shifting around and it must be a full time job to keep the roads open.  It looks like they use a snowplow to keep the road open.

 Some of the dunes are very steep and people bring trash can lids, cardboard boxes and snow sleds to slide down them.  This group of kids had a ramp at the top and were jumping down the almost vertical side of the dune.  I wanted to join them, but the nearest rescue squad was miles away. 

This looks like a lot of fun.
If you can deal with the heat and wind, they have a picnic area out in the middle of the dunes.  I wouldn't want to try and eat there on a windy day.  That sand would blast the skin right off of you.

Picnic area with shelters and toilets.

 If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend you take the time to visit the White Sands National Monument.  Just check ahead to make sure they don't fire a missile at you.

Our daughter Barbara was born in Washington, DC and spent the first 23 years of her life living in the area.  Then she got married and they moved south and then further south.  Her tastes in vehicles has changed over the years from sporty cars to pickup trucks.  Now she has taken it one step further and has taken to riding our grandsons new lawnmower.  Really makes a father proud to see how his children have turned out.  She even got dressed up to cut the grass.

Sorry Barbara, the devil made me do it.


  1. I'm glad we stopped at the White Sands National Monument a couple years ago when we were coming back to CCRV. The feeling it's snow is so over whelming. I agree, if you get a chance to see it, do so, it's free with a National Parks Pass.

  2. What I always say to Barb is when you were 20 years old running around the bar scene in downtown DC did you think that you would end up living in NC, driving a pick-up truck, watching Nascar every Sunday, have a trailer as a second home and 4 kids running around! Now I can add the mower to the list! If I knew that a zero turn would get her to cut the grass vs. me I would have bought one! You can be proud of one least she isn't chewing tabacco...yet!


  3. Now I have to watch out for bloggers, not just Facebook! I thought you loved me Dad! haha good thing I was sitting sorta lady like!