Bull Summer Trip 2011 travel blog

Mountains where the gypsum gets its start

Our first glimpse of the sand dunes

Looks like snow

Desert flowers in the white sands

A snow bank of sand. We saw some kids "sledding".

Really strange to see this white stuff on the ground and to...

Really eerie

Blindingly white

Can you see where they "plow" the sand off the road -...

Paved road disappeared


Extensive plowing where we had lunch

Our spot for lunch

Our view at lunch

Another view at lunch

Who is that strange man on the top of the dune?

Is it a bird, is it a plane....

No it's super Jaguar Hat Man with his trusty sidekick Darby Girl

"White out"

Another "snow" bank

Some tall dunes in the distance

Time to leave - rain on the way

Who would have thought I'd be calling 80 degrees "cooling" off??? After the last week of 100+ degrees, we're really appreciating this drop in temp.

We left Deming and about an hour later, made a stop for gas. Then it was non-stop to White Sands National Monument. We arrived about 2 o'clock and left Darby in the air conditioned RV, while we viewed the movie at the visitors center. We learned how the gypsum in the surrounding mountains gets into the water streams, drains into 2 lakes and is left as residue when the lake water evaporates. Then the wind turns the solid gypsum into smaller chunks, then pebbles and eventually into grains of white sand.

In this 275 square miles of desert, the elements of Mother Nature (water and wind) has created the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The dunes are brilliant and white and ever changing. They grow, crest, then slump but always advance. Several types of small animals have evolved white colorations to camouflage themselves in the gypsum sand.

We found a large enough parking area for our RV within the monument and had lunch among the sand dunes.

Bob decided to drive a few hours longer than planned. It was a decent drive with a climb through the mountains. About 15 miles of the drive was through Mescalero Apache Reservation. Unlike many reservations in the southwest, this area was beautiful with lots of trees, decent houses and lots of horses. And of course there were first class casinos with major stars coming soon. Martina McBride (and our cousin Rob) will be here later in October. The town of Ruidoso Downs was attractive and the several RV parks were of interest but we already paid for our night in Roswell another 90 minutes down the road. We left the forests and were back in the brown hills and high desert landscape. The last hour was very desolate.

We saw the ET and alien reference as soon as we hit the edge of town. There's a UFO Research Center and a UFO Museum here. Maybe we'll see an alien or two tomorrow.

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