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My First Post

Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story teller.

β€” Ibn Battuta.

This is my first ever post on my blog. Jotting down what I saw in my trips. You will get to see some nice photos/moments captured by my dad. Keep reading!!

A trip to US West – Day 8

July 11,2019

Our plan for today is a short visit to Zion National Park and the head to Grand Canyon North Rim. From Page it’s almost 2 hours drive to Zion. We started around 10 AM from Page, and reached the Zion entrance by 12:30 PM. I was sleeping most of the time and I woke up only after we entered into the park. From the entrance, there is again almost 1 hr drive to the Visitor center. Our plan was just to do a drive through the park since we need to reach North Rim.

Zion National Park Entrance
View of road from Entrance of the park

The road in the park looked different in color. Both sides of the road has different type of sand stone cliffs of different colors, cream, pink and red. As soon as we entered the park, we realized that we will spend more time here than we planned. The park is just awesome. We regret that we didn’t plan a day here in our itinerary.

We drove down and reached the visitor center. There are some locations in the park, where we cannot go by our car. We need to catch the shuttle and get into those locations. It was afternoon and the temperature was high.

We decided to catch the shuttle to have a view of those locations as well. We will have to cut down the North Rim, but the beauty of the park made us do that. The last stop of the shuttle is The Narrows. The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. This gorge, with thousand feet tall walls and the river, is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park.

We got down there, thinking we will go for a small walk on the river side. But we all were tired due to the heat and my sister started behaving weirdly, so my parents decided to go back. I wanted to do the hike at Narrows, and my parents assured that we will do that next time. So eagerly waiting for our next trip πŸ˜‰

View of Zion national park
View of Zion national park
View of Zion national park
View of Zion national park
Zion- Mount Carmel Tunnel Entrance

On the way to the park visitor center there is a tunnel – Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. It’s almost 1 mile long. Also the road has several hair pins. The Google map shows those hair pins and it looks hilarious :O

Hair pins as shown in Google Map :O

We started from Zion national park to Grand Canyon after 4:30 PM. As per Google, we will reach North Rim only after 6:30 PM. From North Rim, we have again 4 hrs of drive to Williams, where we have planned our stay. So we decided to remove North Rim from our plan and decided to drive to Williams.

We reached the hotel around 9:30 PM, we had dinner on the way and went to bed as soon as we reached. We all were so tired, and we need to visit South Rim next day morning.

A trip to US West – Day 6

UTAH – Life Elevated

July 09,2019

Today, we are leaving from Arches to our next destination. Our plan is to start early morning and take some night photos in Arches and then start our journey so we can reach Monument Valley before Sunrise. We will spend some time there and head to Page.

We woke up around 1 AM and got ready. I was still feeling sleepy, also excited to continue the journey, so we can explore the new places. We went to the Arches for the night photos. We first stopped at Balanced Rock to take the milky way shot. Mom and us were sitting in the car and dad went to take the shot. There was another photographer who was taking the night shot there. While dad was taking the photos, me and mom were watching the night sky and tried to identify the constellations. My sister was sleeping in the car.

Milky way at Balanced Rock

From Balanced rock we went to The Windows. My dad wanted to do some light painting at Double Arch. This time, I also went with dad so I can help him with lights. We spent some time there and headed back to car, so we can start our journey to reach Monument Valley on time. From Arches, it takes more than 3 hours, so we started by 2:30 AM from Arches.

Double Arch

Dad was driving the car and we all slept on the way. Our plan ws to take the photo of the Monument Valley at sunrise from Forrest Gump point. We can have a distant view of Monument Valley from here. The point got this name from the film Forrest Gump, where he ended his cross-country run in the movie.

We reached here just before sunrise and my dad setup his camera to take the sunrise photo. The rainbow colors over the Monument Valley is awesome. While the sun was rising, dad took some photos of mine too πŸ™‚

Jump at Forrest Gump
View of Monument Valley from Forrest Gump point

After the sunrise, we headed to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. It’s located at the Utah-Arizona border.The gate to the park was open, but the visitor center was not open when we reached there. We found the Gift shop and the restaurant open, so we just went in and freshen up ourselves, got some coffee. My sister found a doll that she liked at first glance and she grabbed it and asked my dad to get it for her. I saw several “dream catchers” which I wanted to buy, and my dad got one for me.

While I was searching through the craft items in the gift shop, my parents were talking to the staff over there on how to get inside the park. It has guided tour as well as non guided tour. There are some places in the park which can be reached only by the guided tour. We took the non guided tour, so we can drive in our car itself. After the small shopping, we headed to the car. We had some bread and peanut butter as our breakfast and started our drive through the park. It’s a graded dirt road which will show you around the park. We can see the major monuments on the way. Below are some of the photos that is taken.

View inside Monument Valley
View inside Monument Valley
View inside Monument Valley park
View inside Monument Valley Park

After completing the loop, we reached the parking lot, where we started from. Our next destination is Page, Arizona, on the way we will be visiting the Antelope Canyon X. We started our journey. As soon as we left the park, we saw the “Welcome to Arizona” sign. It’s in the middle of a barren land, where there is less vegetation.

Welcome to Arizona sign board

It’s almost 11:30 AM, we need to reach Page before 3:00 PM. We have booked the tour to canyon X at 3:00 PM. From Monument Valley, it takes only 2 hours to reach Page.

I was sleeping most of the time, we reached Antelope Canyon office by 1:30 PM. Our booking is for 3 PM and we need to wait one and half hour. So my dad decided to check in the office if we can pre-pone the tour. Luckily the group for 1:45 was small, so they confirmed we can join that group.

We didnt go for the famous Antelope canyon as we heard it’s so crowded, so we picked Canyon X, also suggested by one of my parents’ friend.

We are not allowed to go by our own car. The office has 4 X 4 vehicles that will take us to the canyon entrance. It’s a ten – fifteen minutes drive to the canyon entrance from the office.

As soon as we reached, we met our guide, Chris. He is a student doing part time job in the Canyon as a guide. Chris took us to the first slot canyon. It is a short walk through the slot canyon. I was holding the Gopro to capture some photos/videos. I need to learn how to take nice pictures from my dad, as not all of the photos which I took was good.

The canyon looks so beautiful and colorful. We tried to throw some sand to take some beautiful pictures. In between Chris played his flute which so soothing to the ears. After the first slot canyon, Chris took us to the second canyon. It’s also beautiful and colorful. We spend some time, taking snaps. After the second canyon, the tour is over and we headed back to the entrance. We took some rest and waited for the transport vehicle to pick us and take back to the car. Everyone in the group was so happy and amazed by the beauty of the canyon.

Canyon X
Canyon X
Canyon X
Canyon X
Canyon X
Canyon X
Canyon X
Canyon X

After the Antelope canyon, we headed to the hotel and checked in. After taking some rest, we went to the Horse Shoe Bend. We parked our car and started the hike to the view point. My sister was also excited to walk. We reached the view point before the sunset, so my dad could take some sunset shots.

While my dad was taking photos, my mom, me and my sister were sitting away from the bend, as it’s dangerous for my sister as she was running here and there. Me and my sister were climbing the rocks and was playing, while my mom was busy on a call.

Horse-Shoe Bend
Horse Shoe Bend
Sunrise @ Horse Shoe Bend
Sunset @ Horse Shoe Bend

After sunset, we headed back to the hotel as it was a long journey that we started early morning. We all needed some rest. We have not planned anything for the next day. My dad wanted to take some sun rise pictures at the Horse shoe bend. Lake Powell is also in the list, but not in the morning, we will relax and go, may be in the evening.

July 10, 2019

Next day morning, dad went to take the sun rise photo while we all were sleeping. Dad came back by 8 and we all had breakfast. Since we have not planned anything for the day, I started watching TV and my baby sister started exploring the hotel room as she didnt get chance on the previous day. My mom switched on her laptop and was checking emails, and dad was busy copying all the photos from the camera. Half day went like that, and then we decided to explore Page downtown and Lake Powell in the evening.

Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River. Glen Canyon Dam is built on Colorado river, which created the Lake Powell. It’s a popular recreation area in Page. Glen Canyon Dam is an arch dam, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the U.S. Lake is famous for boating and fishing, also it’s a famous location for movie shooting.

Glen Canyon Dam
Glen Canyon Dam
Massive Turbine – Glen Canyon Dam
Lake Powell – View from Glen Canyon Recreational Area

After spending some time in the recreational area, we thought to drive through the Page downtown. We did some shopping there and went back to hotel, so we can go to bed early, and start early next day, back to Utah – Zion National Park.

A trip to US West – Day 5

UTAH – Life Elevated

July 8, 2019

Today is our last day in Arches National park. Tomorrow we will be heading to the next place in our itinerary. Our plan for today is to cover the Balanced rock and Devil’s Garden. Balanced rock is an easy one. Devil’s garden has many arches in which some are easy, but many of them are difficult trails. We thought to cover the easy ones like – Tunnel Arch, Pine tree arch and Landscape arch. The other arches in the Devil’s garden include – Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O arch, Dark Angel Arch.

Balanced rock can be seen from the main park road. It’s a short hike of 0.3 miles round trip around the balanced rock. It’s a large stone balanced on a narrow stone tower.

Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock
Me and my little sister enjoying πŸ™‚
Balanced Rock

This is famous for stargazing and night photography as it’s located near to the main park road and away from city lights. My dad took some night photos here.

From Balanced rock, we headed to Devil’s Garden. It’s one of the premier locations in the park. It’s located at the very end of the park. We planned to take the easy trails to Tunnel Arch, Pine tree arch and the Landscape arch. The trail becomes difficult beyond the Landscape arch.

Me and my sister were excited to do the hike. We started from the parking, my sister started running as she got freedom from her car seat πŸ˜‰

It started off with flat surface. As soon as we started off, there are two sand stone fins to the left of the trail with a narrow path in between filled with loose sand which might be due to the erosion of the sand stone walls, with slope. We both climbed up even though it was difficult due to the loose sand.

Two sand stone fins and loose sand in between – Devil’s Garden Trail

Throughout the trail, we could see vegetation and several sand formations.

Devil’s Garden Trail
Devil’s Garden Trail
My little sister taking a break πŸ™‚
Devil’s Garden Trail
View from Devil’s Garden Trail

Me and my sister was running ahead of mom, while dad was slow and taking pictures. I had to run to catch my sister as she was running all through the trail.

Tunnel arch is less than 1 mile from the trail head. The trail to the Tunnel arch and the Pine tree arch goes downhill. My sister fell down when she tried to run ahead of me and she started crying and asked my mom to hold her.

Tunnel arch looks like a pothole or tunnel. We can view it from a distance.

Tunnel Arch
Cooling down between trees in the Tunnel Arch Viewpoint
View of Tunnel Arch from Viewpoint

You can see a small arch next to the tunnel arch. It is formed by the same process as Double arch – downward water erosion.

Next arch is the Pine tree arch. It’s not too far from the Tunnel arch. It’s a tall think arch. The trail leads to the arch and we can stand under it. The arch is named because pine tree is growing under the arch.

On the way to Pine tree arch
On the way to pine tree arch
Pine tree Arch
Pine tree arch
Pine tree arch

We took some rest under the arch. We met another family with a baby girl and my sister befriended with her soon. Both of them started playing in the sand, running around. They didn’t want to leave. Since we need to cover the Landscape arch, we decided to leave. Both of them didn’t want to leave, they wanted to play. Her mom picked her up and they headed to Tunnel Arch. My sister again started running.

Landscape arch is the longest arch in the park. After Landscape arch, the trail becomes difficult to the Double O arch. So most of the visitors will turn around here.

Few years ago, the trail used to lead under the arch, but due to the rock fall in 1990’s, it’s closed and visitors are not allowed to travel underneath the arch. Now we can only have the view of the beautiful arch from the view point.

View from trail to Landscape Arch
View from trail to Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Trail to Landscape Arch – you can see the arch behind us
Trail to Landscape Arch – you can see the arch behind us

My sister was tired by when we reached Landscape Arch. She started crying and asked dad and mom to hold her. We headed back to the parking and it was around 3:15 PM. As soon as we put her in the car seat, she started sleeping.

On the way back from Devil’s garden, we stopped at Skyline arch. Mom just stayed in the car as my sister was sleeping.

Skyline arch trail is a short and easy one. This arch is situated in a high fin. We tried to climb on a smaller fin next to the arch. My dad could reach the top, but I was stuck halfway 😦 My dad took some photos of the arch and the panoramic view around it.

Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch – Me taking a break while my dad climbed the top of the fin
Skyline Arch
Rocks fallen off from Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch

After spending some time, we went back to the car as my Mom and sister was alone in the car. On the way back, I slipped on the rock and scraped my knee. Luckily we had the first aid kit in the car, so my dad cleaned it and put a bandage. Everyone was tired, so we didn’t stop any other view points, and headed back to Hotel. On the way back, we stopped at a restaurant to have some refreshments. We decided to try the Ice cream shake to cool off the heat. It was so delicious, I wanted to go back again.

After reaching hotel, we all went to bed early. We need to start early morning next day, from Moab to reach our next destination – Monument Valley to see the sunrise. Also my dad has a plan to take the night photos at the Arches before we leave, since he could not get one on previous days, due to clouds. So our plan is to checkout by 2 AM, so we can reach Monument valley before sun rise after taking some night photos at Balanced Rock and The Windows.

We all were not happy to leave Arches. We still have many attractions that we missed this time, we will surely come back to see those.

A trip to US West – Day 4

UTAH – Life Elevated

July 7, 2019

Early morning, before Sunrise, dad went to the park to take some sunrise photos. We were sleeping. Dad’s plan was to be back for breakfast. He went to The Windows section to capture the sunrise, as it’s famous for the sunrise view. Hikers usually sit on the Window to get the panoramic view with the sunrise colors. This is one of the most scenic locations in the park, and it has North Window, South Window, Turret Arch and Double Arch. This area also include Garden of Eden, Elephant Butte and Parade of Elephants.

Morning at Double Arch
Sunburst through The North Window
Sunrise at “The Spectacles”
Sun rays kissing Turret Arch

My dad came back by 8 AM and we had our breakfast. We thought to visit some of the places in the park and do some hiking. After the Delicate Arch, I was super excited to visit the other arches and wanted to do some hiking. Hike to Delicate arch boosted my confidence to do more difficult hikes πŸ˜‰

Dad took us to The Windows first. When we reached there, the parking lots were full and we had to take a round to get the parking. My sister started sleeping, so me and my mom went to the Double arch. It’s a 0.25 mile trail from the parking lot and it’s an easy one with some loose sand, where two massive arches that are joined at one end. It’s the tallest and the second longest arch in the park. In the past, it was called Double Windows.

Double Arch Trail information
Double Arch
Double Arch
Me in front of Double Arch πŸ™‚

After spending some time in Double arch, we went back to the parking lot, so we can visit the other arches in the same area – The Windows and Turret Arch.

When we reached the car to check my sister, she was already awake and ready to explore. Dad and sister joined us to the walk to “The Windows”.

The trail to the Windows section is an easy one, and that makes it a busy section in the park. The trail started off flat- gravel surfaced path and then stairs till we reach the North Window. We can stand and sit directly beneath the North Window. We sat there for sometime waiting for dad to come as he was busy taking snaps.

From the North window, we continued the trail and reached the South window. We didn’t go down there, as it’s beautiful view from the place where we stood. Both North window and South window together called “The Spectacles” because from a distance it resembles glasses.

Hikers using the shade of North Window πŸ™‚
South Window

We continued the trail downhill to the Turret Arch. It’s the smallest arch in the Windows section. There is a small arch near the main arch, which may combine in future with the main arch and form a larger one. We climbed up the rock slope to get a nice view of the area. I helped my sister to climb up the slope while my dad was helping mom to climb it.

Turret Arch, you can see the small arch near the main arch
distant view from Turret Arch
Turret Arch
Distant view from Turret Arch

I walked along the Turret and climbed up a rock formation to take some photos.

We walked back to the parking lot and got into the car. While walking back we had a nice view of the Double arch and the Parade of Elephants.

Double arch and Parade of Elephants – View from Windows trail

We thought to take a drive through the other attractions in the Windows section. It’s almost 1:30 PM and we could still see people are coming to visit the Windows.

From The Windows section, the next stop was Delicate Arch View point. There are 2 view points – Lower and Upper. Yesterday, when we went to the Delicate arch, we could not notice it from the road, but now we could identify the magnificent, free-standing arch from the main road.

Lower delicate arch view point is a 90 yard round trip trail and it’s an easy one. We cannot hike to the arch from here. We get a very distant view of the arch from the lower view point. The information about the arch is also exhibited here.

Delicate Arch from Lower view point

Upper view point trail is longer and moderate trail which climbs steeply 0.5 mile to the view point. It’s separated by a canyon from the arch. Since it was hot and we were tired, we didn’t go on the trail, even though I wanted to go to the view point and have an excellent view. We missed it 😦

We came back to the car and had some refreshments, so we can explore more attractions in the park.

We drove further north and reached the Sand Dune Arch trail. It’s an easy one and great for kids. Sand dune arch, as the name says, there is a lot of sand around it. The arch has shade almost throughout day due to the two large sand stones guarding the arch. We spent some time there playing in the sand and walking around it. My sister was not happy initially, because she fell down at the entrance of the arch, but later when she saw the sand and the stones, she started enjoying it.

Me and my sister at Sand Dune Arch Entrance
Sand Dune Arch Entrance
Sand Dune Arch
One of the 2 Large sand stones guarding Sand Dune arch
Sand Dune Arch
Sand Dune Arch – You can see the sand around it
Me at Sand Dune Arch
Me in the middle of the large Sand stone

Broken arch trail is 1.3 mile round trip and an easy one across open grassland. There is no shade on the way, but we can see lot of vegetation. We could see the broken arch from the parking lot, but it’s farther than we think it was. It’s named so due to the visible crack on top of the arch, but it’s intact. It will stay that way for a long time. We reached the broken arch, dad and me climbed on it, but mom was staying down as she was tired. So we didn’t continue the trail to Tapestry arch, and we headed back to the parking lot.

Broken Arch
Broken Arch – You can see the crack on top of it
Broken Arch
Broken Arch

From there, we just drove through the Devil’s garden loop, and thought to take a break for the day, as we all needed some rest, and my sister is also exhausted. So we headed back to Hotel, and on the way, we all were very hungry and we bought some burgers from McDonald’s in Moab. We all were so tired, so we slept as soon as we got to the bed.

A Trip to US West – Day 3

COLORADO – Colorful Colorado

July 6, 2019

7 AM in the morning, and we are getting ready for the journey. We need to have our breakfast and then start from Santa Fe. Around 9:00 AM we checked out the hotel and started from Santa Fe. This time, my mom was driving. Our next stop is Durango, Colorado for our lunch. As per initial plan we didnt have Colorado state in the list, but last minute change added Durango in our way.

After almost 3 hrs drive from Santa Fe we reached the New Mexico – Colorado state line. We stopped near the state line to take pictures. My sister was sleeping, so we 3 went out to take the snaps with the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” board.

Welcome to Colorful COLORADO

We visited Aspen, Colorado in the last fall, and it’s beautiful place with fall colors. It’s Summer, but Colorado is full of green and beautiful.

Colorado in fall
beautiful Colorado
beautiful Colorado
Road in Colorado

We reached Durango by 12:45 PM, after we did some research, we picked the Himalayan Kitchen which is a Nepalese, Tibetan & Indian Cuisine. We picked the Indian cuisine for the lunch, so my sister can also have some rice/roti. The food was nice and we enjoyed.

After the lunch, we resumed our journey to Arches National Park, Utah. By 4 PM we reached the Colorado – Utah state line.

Welcome to Utah – “Life Elevated”

UTAH – Life Elevated

From the state line, it took around 1 and half hour to reach Moab, where we booked our stay, and for next 3 days we will be staying there. We checked into the hotel and took some rest and then headed to the Arches National Park. It’s a beautiful place to be. This park has over 2000 natural stone arches.

on the way to Utah – an interesting sand formation
At the entrance of Arches National Park
At the visitor center

Even though it was showing heavy traffic in the park entrance, we were able to get in without any delay. We drove into the park and our first arch in our list was Delicate Arch. It’s a free standing arch and the recognized symbol of the state of Utah. This arch is pictured in the Utah state board at the Colorado Utah state line.

It’s difficult to see the Delicate arch from main road. The trail to Delicate arch is 3 miles round trip and climbs 480 feet. It’s one of the difficult trails in the park. We decided to hike to the Delicate arch and we all were really excited about it. We packed the water, juice and some food for my sister. My dad also packed his camera in his bag, and we all were carrying one bag each. I thought it would an easy one, but I was wrong. Though I liked the hike, it’s too long. I have to give credit to my lil sister, she never cried or asked our parents to pick her up (but our parents picked her up on the hard parts). She was very happy and excited. As we reach near to the arch, the path narrows.

On the way to Delicate Arch
We found some Raven during the hike

Once we reached the top, I went to the middle of the arch while my dad took some photos of mine standing under the arch. My lil sister was trying to play around, but my mom was holding her, not allowing to run around as it’s too dangerous.

me standing under the Arch πŸ™‚
me and my sister at Delicate Arch
Beautiful Delicate Arch
Sunset view from Delicate Arch, you can see the narrow path to the arch

Weather was crazy and it was too windy. My dad was planning to capture the sunset there, but it was cloudy and almost blocked the sun. Wind blew away my sister’s bag and while I was trying to get a hold of it, wind took my favorite cap 😦 . I saw it flying down the hill where we cannot reach. Later my dad showed me where it landed 😦

Since it was too windy and we could not handle it, we decided to go back. We met some nice people there and walked back to the parking lot with them. It was dark while going back to the parking lot. While going back we could see lot of stars even though it was cloudy.

Once we reached the car and had our dinner – bread and peanut butter sandwich, my favorite, and decided to go back to hotel. On the way back, we stopped at balanced rock, so my dad can take take some night photos. We all slept in the car while my dad was taking some snaps. It was cloudy, and he was trying to take the star tails.

Star tails at Balanced Rock

After that, we headed back to hotel. We went to bed as soon a we reached hotel, so my dad can wake up early to get some sun rise shots.

A Trip to US West – Day 2

NEW MEXICO – The Land of Enchantment

July 5, 2019

It’s morning 8 AM, I woke up by hearing my name. Dad was calling me for breakfast. We all slept for long due to the previous night tiring journey and the activities during the day. We need to have breakfast and continue our journey.

Our second stop is Santa Fe, New Mexico. We started from Alamogordo around 11:30 AM. We had only one destination in our plan in Santa Fe – Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, which is around 250 miles away from Alamogordo. The park is open only till 4 PM.

Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs” in the Pueblo language Keresan. It has cone shaped tent rock formations due to the volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago.

We reached the park after 3:00 PM. We had the lunch and thought to take one trail. But we saw some people coming back from trail and they informed that the rangers are already there and they are sending back the public. So we just took some snaps and left to the hotel, so we can plan for the next day.

A view from the parking lot.
Can’t believe how the rock formation stays on top.

We checked into the hotel, and took some rest. For dinner, we picked up an Indian restaurant – Paper Dosa. It’s a well rated restaurant at Santa Fe, we knew there will be a long wait to get a seat from the reviews. We had to wait 30 mins to get a table. It has variety of South Indian items, especially Dosa. Dosa is similar to pancake made of rice and black lentils. “Paper Dosa” has dosa that is thinner than the regular pan cake. We ordered Paper Dosa, Classic Masala Dosa and Paneer & Peas Dosa. It was yummy and delicious. The restaurant ambiance also is awesome. If you ever pass through Santa Fe, don’t miss a chance for dinner here, if you are fond of South Indian dishes.

After dinner, we headed back to hotel, our parents were planning about the next day, while I was watching cartoon in the TV.

Our initial plan was to go to Four corners monument from Santa Fe. But my dad read some reviews about it which made him to remove that from the list and we changed the plan and added Durango, Colorado in our trip.

We decided to go to bed early, so we can start early next day to Colorado and continue our trip.

A Trip to US West – Day 1

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.

Me and my sister Advi having some fun moments.
Picture Courtesy Dad
Darkling beetle‘s foot tracks

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.

View from the hotel we stayed

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.

Ranger sharing the information with fellow hikers. Ofcourse I am one among them. πŸ™‚

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.

About Me

I’m Advaith, a 10 year old kid from San Antonio, Texas, who loves to travel, like to explore new places. My other interests are building Lego, reading books and drawing.

I’m here to share my experiences while travelling in different places

Please feel free to let me know your suggestions, i’m just a beginner.