Friday, August 7, 2015

Saturday Snapshot

March 2015 - Las Cruces New Mexico

I posted here about our day that included a visit to White Sands. I have meant to do a longer post and have finally got to it.

It is really weird to know that you are in the desert and it is warm and it looks like we are at home in the winter.

Did You Know?

Photo of sand avalanching
While the wind piles the sand grains into dunes, the dunes move forward under the force of gravity. As the leading edge of the dune ("slipface") gets steeper, gravity pulls an avalanche of sand down the slipface, moving the dune forward.





The White Sands National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located about 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Alamogordo in western Otero County and northeastern Doña Ana County in the state of New Mexico, at an elevation of 4,235 feet (1,291 m). The area is in the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin and comprises the southern part of a 275 square miles (710 km2) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals. It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world.

Their website warns you:
Due to missile testing on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range, it is occasionally necessary to close the Dunes Drive for periods of up to three hours for visitor safety.

Please note that horseback riding is prohibited during all missile tests that affect the monument. Please contact us in advance to verify whether a test has been scheduled for the date of your visit.

The Dunes Drive, an eight-mile scenic drive, leads from the Visitor Center into the heart of the dunes. This hard-surface roadway is suitable for cars, trailers and buses.

Our first stop is at a preserved area with a boardwalk to protect the environment.


The edge dunes are just a few feet high and support some plant life, with several species of grass, yucca and saltbush managing to survive at scattered points, but further into the monument there is little or no vegetation, just an unbroken white landscape.















My kind of tobogganing!






Looks like a normal day in December back home!



All photography on Junk Boat Travels are under copyright unless stated otherwise.


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5 comments:

  1. Beautiful and stark. That's a part of North America I'd love to visit.

    The toboggans and sleds reminds me of a chat I had with a fellow at the Algerian embassy during Doors Open. He said they skied on the sand dunes in the desert. It's pretty much the same consistency as snow, after all.

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  2. Beautiful pictures of a fascinating area. I love your selfie! Those dunes do look like snow, especially with people sledding on them. You might also enjoy a visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colorado. The sands there aren't as white, but the dunes are the tallest in North America.
    My Saturday Snapshot post is HERE.

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  3. I've never been to White Sands (heck, I've never been to New Mexico, other than a short layover at the Albuquerque airport!), but that place looks very cool!

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  4. Hi!
    Awesome pictures, looks like you had lots of fun. Have a great day!

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  5. We missed this part of New Mexico the last time we were there. We need to go back!

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