Monday, May 17, 2021

An Afternoon At White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park has been on my radar for a few years (before it was a National Park and only a National Monument). I was sorely disappointed that we couldn't find the time to make the journey down on our last NM visit (in 2019), so I made sure we worked it into our Texas trip this time! With our main base being Roswell, NM, we were able to easily get to White Sands in under two hours and make fantastic discoveries along the way!

We didn't rush to get ready for the day, so we wound up leaving our Airbnb around 11 a.m. We drove through a couple of Indian Reservations and Alamogordo, NM before getting to White Sands. Once we hit Alamogordo, we could see the mountain range in the distance as well as what appeared to be white clouds just below the range. "Are the clouds crazy low or is THAT the National Park?" As we neared, we were thrilled to see that it was, in fact, the white sands! It was a gorgeous view and one of the most unique things I've ever seen.

The dog was the most excited of all of us to see the sand. I think he thought we were back at the beach!

As with most places, we stopped at the visitors center for the day's info. Then, we drove through the park, pausing to walk the boardwalk trail, and finally boogie boarding down some dunes! Fun things we learned in our time here: the innerdunes have light brush on them, the dunes after that are powdery white sand. The air temperature is hot! The sun practically radiates off of the white sand. Of course, the sand itself is cool. We walked barefoot on the soft sand. Our feet were cold and our foreheads sweaty! We couldn't last long in the park because of the heat....the dog went and laid in the shadow of our car.

Lizard prints!

We waxed the bottoms of the boogie boards, but the boards didn't work the best. The middle mini was the only one who could get his to go a good distance.

Driving around southern New Mexico, we noticed many pecan and pistachio farms. Imagine my surprise when I looked it up and discovered New Mexico grows a good amount of pine nuts, pecans, peanuts, and pistachios. We stopped at a pistachio farm to pick up freshly picked pistachios...and take pictures with the world's largest pistachio! Our oldest has a severe peanut allergy, so finding other nuts that haven't been cross contaminated with peanuts. The safest thing is to find nut farms that aren't around peanuts at all. I was disappointed we didn't make it to any pecan farms, since the kid has yet to try them (we can't find any that are safe). 

We made a stop at a Walmart for a few snacks and food. This is probably the Walmart with the best view! The dog was tuckered out from our shenanigans and crashed in the car. We had some fun on the nearly two hour drive back to Roswell.

We loved White Sands National Park! I would happily go back again....but not in the summer months. I can't imagine how hot that would get! We could easily spend more time in Alamogordo, which has a few interesting museums, wineries, and fun nut farms to explore.