White Sands, NM

Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
Trip End Nov 01, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Monday we made an early start towards Santa Fe, New Mexico - a 13 hour drive. About 7 hours into the drive we scaled it back to El Paso.

Summers read out the excerpt from the Lonely Planet, El Paso didn't sound like a cultural town, but it sounded like it didn't suck. We figured we could get some good TexMex and maybe do a quick shuttle run into the Mexican town on the other side of the border, Juarez.

We stopped off for gas about an hour outside of El Paso and Summers bought a local paper, and after reading a couple pages he found a story that there had been 30 murders in Juarez alone this month... it was the 10th of May so thats averaging 3 murders a day, and it wasn't even front page news.

We decided to pass on the Juarez and when we got to El Paso we decided to pass on El Paso, it looked rough. Since it was only 4pm-ish we kept on driving into New Mexico.

We got to New Mexico about an hour after we gave El Paso the flick. We didn't know exactly where we were going and it was getting close to 6pm.

Since most restaurants seemed to stop serving around 8 or 9pm we stopped off and grabbed a Subway sandwich at a gas station.

The reason I remember this is because it was easily the healthiest thing I'd eaten since before Myrtle Beach... my body was confused, these strange green vegetable things (lettuce etc) were that I was eating, it had been a while.

A little later we arrived at a place called White Sands, just before sunset.

White Sands is a National Park (technically a national monument) of sand dunes sandwiched between two mountain ranges on the east and west and a military missile testing range to the north.

Just before the entry to the park there was a US border and immigration check point, this was in the middle of New Mexico, nowhere near the Mexican border. It was only shortly after I realized they probably want to keep tabs on any non Americans wandering around the middle test range.

When we got into the White Sands park we were able to jump on a ranger guided tour that had just started. Less than 5 minutes later we jumped off the tour since the ranger was spending all her time talking about the fauna living in such a harsh environment. It was moderately interesting if we had all day but we didn't, we only had about 40min until sunset and we needed to go exploring.

There were semi-competitve sprints between Landy and I up and down the dunes and we all took dozens of pics as the white dunes turned pink and orange as the sun set and a few military fighter jets flew overhead - all very scenic. 

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