Friday, September 18, 2015 : White Sands


I can't get used to the price of gasoline in this country. I get my card authorized for $60, I can't even reach half the price for a refill of our Camaro.

 

It is now time to leave Las Cruces.

 

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

 

We have one important site to visit today, White Sands National Monument.

 

It is an area covered by gypsum dunes, brought from the mountains nearby by snowmelt, then carried over by the wind and crushed into a very thin immaculately white powder. Indeed, these are not sand dunes like in, well, Great Sand Dunes.

 

Some dunes are held in place by whatever little vegetation there is, others are pushed forward by the wind. All are covered by thin wrinkles, showing the influence of wind. Some dunes have the consistency of soft sand, whereas it is easy to walk on others. It is all very odd.

 

Contrary to what common sense dictates, water is not very far, hardly a few feet below the surface. Animal life is therefore not that rare, but we won't see much of it : at that time, animals, more reasonable than visitors, are carefully sheltered from the searing heat.


Thunderstorm on Carlsbad, NM

Thunderstorm on Carlsbad, NM

 

After White Sands, we take the road again, to Carlsbad, our last stop in New Mexico. We hoped to escape it, but the brewing storm breaks out upon our arrival. It quickly takes an otherwordly proportion, without even cleaning the Camaro.