Friday, August 16, 2013

Let it Snow!!

Probably the most amazing sight for me on this leg of the trip has been what appeared at first to be a low hanging white cloud bank to my west as I was crossing Apache Pass. 
The closer I got the more I realized it looked like snow.  In the desert?  When I finally found a place to pull off the road and really focus and consult my map, it finally came to me.  White Sands.  Yep, that's what I was seeing 60 miles out to the west in a stretch as far as I could see.  White Sands.  Thirty miles closer and I could really see how large the place was.  And when I actually got there, well, let's just say "wow!" doesn't cover it.  It was almost like being lost in miles of snow drifts.  If you've seen sugar sand on the beach you think you're ready for this, but it's just so much more.
Families come here everyday with snowboards and snow disks, climb to the top of the highest dunes, usually around 60-75 feet high, and sled down.  I confess I didn't try it, but I did take off my shoes and walk around barefoot in the lower dunes.  Honestly, it's just an amazing place and I kept thinking how much Aiden and Addy and Drake would love this place.  After a full day of roaming around the sands and learning about the geological causes and impacts it was time to head out to my campground.  The next day I actually had the chance to visit the museum at White Sands Missile Range.  It's the only part of the military post civilians are allowed on and the scrutiny for getting in is a bit of a hassle but well worth it.  I actually spent some time with one of the original V2 rockets taken out of Germany at the end of WWII.  And of course the museum had quite a display on Oppenheimer and the trinity test site.  Twice a year, the first weekend of April and October, civilians can sign up for a tour of the actual test site including the ranch house where the scientists set up their first clean room.  I was really excited thinking of ways I could be in the area at the beginning of October until coming across a big sign explain that budget cuts cut out the October tour.  Oh well, guess I'll focus on April now.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vickie,
    Enjoying your blog; writing & photography. I read your White Sands & Bottomless Lake posts and then looked at all the photos... all the way to Horizon Seeker crosses the Duck River :)
    I am curious about that headstone because I can't make out the name on it; something Pile maybe?

    I enjoyed meeting you, I get to meet some really nice folks at the Chamber/VC. I dug up my old Blogger page so I could comment here - it took me just a bit to remember how to get into it & it didn't surprise me too much that we had chosen the same template