Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Mexico, 2/20/12, White Sands Monument

On the Road Again Monday Feb. 20 but first fuel up, refill propane and grocery shop.

Making tortillas at the grocery store.

New Mexico staples.

In Artesia a bronze monument "Drilling Floor" to the oil industry. http://www.artesiachamber.com/vi/wt.html

Three of the bronze statues of the men working on the rig.

We saw snow as we passed through the Sacramento Mountinas. We came slowly up the mountains from Texas. Our descent was much faster. Glad we didn't travel from West to East. The grade was 6%. From 8370 to 6740 then to 4370 feet.

To the impressive White Sands Monument.

How spectacular!!!!

Visitors Center staff said there is amble parking along the drive. Indeed the lots were football field size. The first 5 miles of the drive are paved. After that you drive on gypsum. When the sand drifts the snowplow goes through to widen the road. But as the dunes change location the road also changes, following the contour of the dunes.

It was easy to walk on the dunes because of it's winter. There is more moisture in the sand in the winter than the summer.

Having a great time.

We went on a Ranger led sunset walk and learned about the formation of this unique area; the white sand which is gypsum, plants, animals and water. Water is only 18 inches below the sand in the flats.

We are staying at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park near Alamogordo.

Location:Artesian and White Sands Monument

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