Before National Park Week wraps up, I wanted to make sure I shared our April experience from White Sands National Monument, which for us New Mexicans is certainly one of the most beautiful and unique icons in our state.
Crossing over the Organ Mountains into the Tularosa Basin, this natural formation is an amazing site to see — the massive sea of white sand is unexpected and pretty much unreal.
As good New Mexicans, both Mark and I have been there before in past lives, but we agreed that each visit is new and exciting. We each have special memories and experiences, although we now have a new shared moment of this monument. We also thought it was fun to realize that on 4/12 we visited the 4th of our 12 National Park Goal.
During our visit, unfortunately the skies were a bit grey and the yucca weren’t yet in bloom, so I wasn’t able to capture those iconic photos of yucca flowers amid a blue sky and white sand horizon. Although, the temperature was just right for walking and frolicking in the sand barefooted. During which time, we were able to study a beetle make cute tracks across the soft, sandy floor. Something you don’t get to do everyday in this rushed and hurried world.
The two most interested things that I learned about White Sands:
- As the largest gypsum dune field on the planet, the “sand” is formed by pulverized gypsum crystals. Over thousands of years, water and the infamous New Mexico wind had transformed this sparkly mineral info gorgeous ever-gowing dunes.
- Our state flower, the yucca, has adapted to these conditions as that is grows tall above the sand’s surface, however, when the dunes shift sometimes the yucca’s base topples over. It’s a different perspective on a plant that I thought was so firmly rooted.
With this short narrative and handful of photos I took, it’s difficult to convey the experience. So, for your viewing pleasured, I discovered this great video on Good Morning America that profiled the White Sands National Monument. Enjoy.