Friday, 4/16/21: White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Park is a treasure.

White Sands - another in a growing line of incredible sights. I thought I was in a ski resort. The white sands looked deceptively like freshly fallen fluffy snow. White Sands National Monument is a treasure.

Near the park entrance, the dunes were covered with a fair amount of vegetation. With the vegetation come all sorts of animals making the dunes home hunting for food while avoiding being prey themselves. There were rodents that have kidneys so efficient that they never need a drink of water. Tadpoles and shrimp that hibernate nearly all year long until some freakish rain comes alongs to give them a shore period of breeding time. There are fox, owls, and rabbits and the like.

What caught my imagination was a large wasp that is required to lay its eggs inside a tarantula, which is three times larger and pretty ferocious in its own right. Can you imagine being an adolescent wasp getting the reproductive talk from mom and finding out that you have to wrestle with a tarantula, kill it, and lay your eggs inside it. Jeez, I’d give up sex. I wondered if this was 50/50 proposition - how often does the wasp win, how often does the tarantula win. The stakes are high.

Just as you enter the park, the trails half mile to mile long trails cover semi-vegetated dunes. The hardcore dunes are farther into the park.

One trail was a fancy boardwalk through the dunes.

The highlight for us was a grueling 5 mile slog through the heart of the dunes. I know that sounds way more negative than it was. In reality, it was amazing. Fortunately, the sun was obscured by a dark cloud cover that added to the wintery feel, like a snow storm was heading in, only it was 65º degrees. The breeze also kept us relatively cool.

The sand was hard packed in some areas making it easy to walk on, but it was very loose in other areas, especially going up the steep sides of dunes, making it a horror show. Complicating matters was the fact that our shoes kept filling up with sand crowding out our toes.

Wanda finally got the bright idea to walk barefoot. The sugar white sand was cool to the touch, soothing, and just plain fun to walk barefoot in. I got proficient at following the hard packed sand. By the time we got to the halfway point, we were groovin’ along with ease - well, relative ease. Five miles of up and down steep dunes was still five miles. We were beat when we reached the van.

That was pretty much it for recreation. We returned to V-Jer around 4:30 pm for our packing-up chores before moving on tomorrow. We were blessed with a most blazing sunset.

At the very heart of the park are the pure white sand dunes. They are amazing.

Our amazing sunset tonight. It almost appears to be a giant forest fire.

Dave and Wanda

Mask Up To Save Lives.

Virtual Business Card

North America . Europe . Mexico . Asia . Product Reviews . Books & Maps

Please send us your thoughts and any errors we may have missed. We're on the road and cellular service is intermittent in the remote areas. As soon as we get online, we are eager to read all of your messages.

Text: 715-252-6664 | 715-252-3326

Email: alloverthemaptravelventures@gmail.com

Visit our Website