September 12, 2008

White Sands National Monument

The White Sands National Monument is the world's biggest Gypsum deposit with thousands of sand dunes in the south New Mexico region. Also known as alabaster, Gypsum was being mined here for plasterboard and other resources when the govt ended the exportation of the gypsum deposits and turned this beautiful place into a National Monument. I was able to get there on a hot September day and it was as interesting as I thought it would be.

White Sands New Mexico
We first hiked through the white dunes that were vegetated with green bushes and a few cactus here and there. The reptiles were camoflaged accordingly to fit the terrains color of cream to a pretty solid white color.

White Sands New Mexico
After hiking around this section I headed towards another section that had a trail leading to a dried out alakline lakebed.  Teh trail itself was set up with reflecting poles and colored in red to see them in the white sands while walking up and down the confusing bright white sand dunes.
White Sands New Mexico

 It was surreal walking through a vast desert of white sands which reminded me of being in a blizzard only it was 90 degrees out!!  I finally made it to the dryed out lake bed and it was a playa of alakline and sand.  Not much more to it but it was peaceful and nice to check out.
Alkali Salt Flat White Sands New Mexico
You also have to be careful walking around in the white sands as the military is continously conducting missle testing experiments and from time to time ordinance can be found in the sand itself, so be careful when you walk around out there and take water, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.  
White Sands New Mexico

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