Tuesday -April 1, 2008

Happy April Fool’s Day – did anyone get jokes played on them? Today was a gorgeous day with temperatures in the mid 70’s (about 22C), perfect weather as far as I am concerned.

This morning when I opened the front shades I noticed an Airstream across the road from us that wasn’t there last night, then when we were ready to head out this morning the fellow from the A/S was out so John got talking to him. I joined them then his wife came over so we met John and Judith who have been full timing in their 1982 34’ Airstream for 10 years. They have a full size Ford diesel van that broke down yesterday when they came into town so the truck is at Mr. Ford and they are here waiting to hear what has to be done to get them on the road again. We ended up visiting for a couple of hours, they are a lovely couple and we enjoyed chatting with them.

Today agenda was a visit to White Sands National Monument and what an amazing place it is. The park is located in the Tularo Basin, which is located at the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert between the San Andres and Sacramento Mountain Ranges, and where great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have created the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The dunes are brilliant white and as we drove along we kept thinking that if we walked over the dunes we would find the ocean – NOT. Due to the constant southwest winds the dunes keep advancing and changing and are getting larger and larger. It is an area where only a few species of plants can grow rapidly enough to survive burial by the moving dunes. There is water about 2’ below the dunes and some of the plants that can be seen have a base some 20’ below the dune – unbelievable!

There is an 8 mile drive through the dunes and about half of the 8 miles is unpaved and when we hit that portion it looked like the road was snow covered, there is even a sand bank, which looked just like a snow bank, along the side of the road where the sand has been plowed off by park staff. It was quite eerie driving through the unpaved area as it was all white sand dunes and not as much vegetation on the dunes as when we started out, we kept waiting for a snowmobile to come flying over the dunes!

Neat Waves In the Dunes

Road Covered in Sand

People Walking on Dunes

Does This Not Look Like a Winter Scene

Vegetation In the Dunes (These Plants Will Bloom In Another Month Or So)

Fascinating Growth In the Dune

The White Sands Missile Range is located to the north of where we were today and there were signs stating that the National Monument and Highway were frequently closed for a couple of hours while missile testing was taking place, but there didn’t seem to be any action from that quarter today. We both took a lot of pictures and I am hoping they turn out okay what with the brilliant white sand and sun.

When we came back into town we stopped at Staples so I could photocopy a drug claim I wanted to get in the mail, went to the Post Office to mail it, then after the PO we stopped at Hastings Book Store which has a coffee bar with wi-fi. I got caught up on my e-mail, a quick look the blogs I follow as well as the Record and a couple of other newspapers from home that I browse and got my blog from yesterday uploaded. After that was a quick stop at Wal Mart then home.

Again, I am ready for bed so will download my pictures then call it a day. And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Looks like Ontario driving conditions there!!

Sandra said...

By the way, I think it's always windy in Carlsbad, NM. It was windy when we were there too. We had some of the highest winds we've seen including the Rio Grande Valley!