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White Sands, New Mexico

 For asakiyume 

Julien and I have somewhat of a love affair with White Sands. If we can, whenever we are in the States, we go there. I checked my archives for our world trip and see that I failed to make a post about our last visit, which I shall rectify now. How's that for catching up on blogging?

The first time I took Julien (and two of his friends) to White Sands I had no idea how much they would enjoy it, so I didn't plan time to camp or stay more than an afternoon.  The second time, after we were married, Julien and I took his brother to go see the dunes, this time armed with a tent.  However, we arrived too late, so late the park ranger was locking the gate and preparing to leave.  I begged and begged, telling the lady that the guys had come over from France and she capitulated and let us in, making us promise to head straight to our campsite and not get lost. Sadly, time still was not on our side and we had to hit the road and continue our trip the next morning.

The last time, this trip, we went prepared: tent, provisions, and three days at our disposal to really explore the park.  At the desk, we reserved our site and asked to book subsequent nights in different spots, to which the park official sadly informed us that the monument would be closing the next day in preparation for military exercises. (White Sands is next to Holloman Air Force Base and its missile range.) Thwarted again.  We were so bummed. 

We got to take a few photos, enough to show you the lovely shades the gypsum takes on as the sun moves across the sky, but unfortunately, we had no time for hiking or exploring as we've always dreamed of doing...

So, asakiyume , I'll answer your question in images. The sands really are that white during the brightest part of the day, but they are also:

dusky purple as the sun sets:

rich, chilling blue when autumn's sun disappears behind the San Andres Mountains, a warning of the cold desert night awaiting you;


 come dayrise, the dunes are the color of sugar cookies or biscuits fresh from the oven:


then, for the rest of the day, you can enjoy the many nuances  of white that the sands have to offer:


 (click on any of the images to enlarge them)
I wish I would have taken time to blog about our visit just afterwards, about the smells, the air, the feel of the gypsum crystals on my bare feet, about the stars over our tent, about the feeling of going into the heart of the dunes and the peace I find there.  But sadly, our next stop was with my family and I had no heart or time to wax about beauty after that.

These words that I just read in The Names of Things really speak to me when I think of that visit and look at that stunning orange foliage in the bottom collage:

"Something like the Fall in me
All my leaves were dying
They died in the most violent way
and turned screaming colors."
ETA:  Oops, saw that the last image wasn't clickable. Fixed now.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)


This world.

This world!

Thank you.

I need to go listen to "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," so I can hear what you heard when you made this beautiful post.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
It is a marvelous, marvel-filled place, isn't it?

My iTunes is on random shuffle, so the song came up all on its own as I was nearing the Music field and the end of the post. :) I thought the title was pretty fitting.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 12:59 pm (UTC)
This world, indeed. How very awesome!
Aug. 3rd, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
It is an awesome place. I have not given up hope of getting to spend more time there.
Aug. 2nd, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
It really is a magical place.
Aug. 2nd, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
So beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
My pleasure. I got a kick out of looking through the photos again, especially a couple of gag shots we took for Julien's brother.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
I dont know if you remember but I lived at Holloman AFB for 4 and half years from age 4 until 9. I absolutley love the sands. It wasnt uncommon to go for a picnic or just an afternoon. Daddy was statoined at Holloman and Mother worked for the White Sands Missle range. Next time you are in the area you should also check out the Malpias, an ancient lava flow in the same area. Love the pics of the sprout.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:37 am (UTC)
I do remember, and I remember that I discovered the sands with you and Tom. I meant to mention that, but it was getting late when I made the post and I forgot. :(
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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