July 3, 2019
NEW MEXICO – The Land of Enchantment
This is the first day of our trip. Me, my parents and my little sister started our 2 weeks expedition to the Mountain states – New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and of course Nevada, Yeah real fun!
The only thing I excited about was hiking to Delicate Arch and visiting Hoover Dam. But I was wrong, the whole trip was exciting!!
I helped my dad to load the luggage, and buckle my li’l sister in her car seat. It’s 6:30 PM, and here we go, our amazing trip begins!
It started off well, my dad was driving. Nice traffic and didn’t have to slow down anywhere. After settling down, my sister took a nap in her seat. My dad had adjusted her seat to give her a comfortable sleeping position.
It’s 8:30 PM, we stopped in a rest area to take some rest. My mom took out the dinner for my lil sister and started feeding her. Sun is about to set, and we have miles to go to reach our first destination – White Sand National Monument, New Mexico.
We all were feeling hungry, and we stopped at a Subway and had our dinner. After the dinner, don’t know what time it is, but I fell asleep.
July 4, 2019
I was asleep when we passed Texas – New Mexico border. We reached White Sand National Monument at 3 AM, but it was closed. It opens at 7 AM in the morning. So we decided to take rest in a nearby gas station parking lot, around 10 miles away from the White Sand, so my parents can take a nap.
It’s 7 AM in the morning, my sister already woke up. We had a nice coffee and headed to White Sand – our first stop!
We purchased the National Park Annual pass, as we are planning to visit the famous other national parks in the same trip. This pass saved us some penny.
White Sand National Monument has wave-like dunes of Gypsum sand spread across 275 square miles of desert. It has various trails where you can walk on the white sand or you can do sledding.
Once we entered the White Sand, we first stopped at the Dune Life Nature Trail. My sister was sleeping, so my dad went out to check the trail, and take some snaps. Me and my mom waited in the car and watched my sister. When my sister woke up, we also joined him.
This trail is 2.5 miles away from the Visitor center. This is a Family friendly one which has lot of natural habitats. This area of the park is heavily vegetated and home for many animals like kit foxes, badgers, birds, coyotes, rodents, and reptiles. We could not see any of them but we saw darkling beetles making their foot steps on the dunes.
We walked up the trail and reached the top of Sand dunes, so beautiful and an amazing view of the endless dunes of white sand. Me and my sister started running and had some fun.
It was getting hotter so we went back to car and had our breakfast. We then headed to Interdune Boardwalk. This is an elevated boardwalk of 0.4 miles round trip take around 20-25 mins, an easy hike. You don’t need to step on the sand to do this trail and has wheelchair access too. Some shade also available in the midway. This area reserved for nature study so please stay away from the sand here.
As it’s getting hotter, we decided to leave the park and return at the evening for the sunset stroll. We then went to the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo. A nice place to know about the history of space research. It has various exhibitions including Rockets, mock-up of the International Space station. It also has a theater and Planetarium, which has 3 shows – Apollo 11: first steps, Live Star show and Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity. We picked the Black Holes show and it’s really informative and explains about the formation of early universe, birth and death of stars, collision of giant galaxies and a simulated flight to a super-massive black hole lurking at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy.
After this, we checked into the hotel, took some rest.
It’s 6:00 PM, we had a nap and we are ready for the Sunset Stroll! It starts at 7 PM, so we need to reach there before 7 and park our car and get ready for the stroll.
We reached the parking lot for the stroll and parked our car, my dad headed out to get some snaps of the beautiful white sand. We were waiting in the car to meet the ranger to begin the Stroll.
Sunset stroll is ranger guided stroll through the gypsum sand dunes. It’s a great opportunity to experience the dunes and get to know about the geology, plants and animals in the park. Since it’s timed to end at the sunset, we get a fantastic view of the sun setting over the mountains and get to take some breath-taking photographs.
We see the ranger calling the people for the stroll and we hurried there. Dad was still taking the snaps, we called him, he also joined us. Ranger explained about the stroll and the things we need to know about the hike. Along the way, he explained about the formation of white sand, Tularosa basin where the White Sand is situated, animals and plants in the park. We also saw some snake trails on the way.
Park closes at 9.00 PM, so we exited the park by 8:45 PM and went back to hotel. After having dinner, I watched TV for some time, before going to bed.