White Sands National Park has been on the list for a long time – but as White Sands National Monument.
When we threw together this crazy trip last minute, I noticed that the Monument had been changed to Park status in 2019. It really throws off our visited ratios when they keep adding new parks like this one and New River Gorge in West Virginia.
We started out on Thursday night heading south, with plans to overnight at the Bass Pro in Colorado Springs and get an early start from there on Friday morning. About halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs the Audi engine decided to poop out (impeller on the turbocharger exploded and lodged in the intake – a known issue that Audi covers 100% under warranty), so we turned around and limped it back to Audi Denver. After spending the night in the Pod in their parking lot (oh so glamourous!), we got the car into the service department early on Friday morning, picked up a SUV, and continued our journey south.
Colette found a great stopover, Storrie Lake State Park, 14 bucks with electricity and an awesome lake view – nice!
Saturday morning we rolled into Ruidoso, New Mexico – also a spot that’s been on our list for years since her sister told her about it.
Beautiful mountain scenery that reminds us of Lake Tahoe or a few other spots in the Sierras, wild horses running across the road, and mountain climate that you certainly wouldn’t expect in New Mexico.
An early morning start out of Ruidoso, we hightailed it to Alamogordo and dropped the Pod at a nice waterfront boondocking spot at Holloman Air Force Base. From here, a short drive into the Park.
They weren’t terribly creative when they named White Sands – it’s literally white sands as far as you can see.
The Alkali Flat trail is your best chance to find solitude, which we did as soon as we left the trailhead. The park has a ton of parking close to miles and miles of dunes, with families picnicking and sledding down the dunes. Get a little way into the sand and it’s a whole different story – you can have this world to yourself.
Even properly dressed, it’s absolutely baking out here. The sand reflects the UV and if you’re not sunscreened you can count on a sunburn on the underside of your nose. Lots and lots of water is key, even for a sub-5-mile hike.
But for those who can (literally) stand the heat, there is a beauty to be found in the stillness. No sound, no people, and no interruptions. Very nice.

You Have Lost Your Mind

You Have Lost Your Mind
So – let me get this straight – we’re going to walk out there into the middle of nothing?


Almost. Nothing.

Almost. Nothing.
Miles and miles of white gypsum dunes.


The Mountains

The Mountains
It’s almost like the snow at home.


Unexploded Munitions

Unexploded Munitions
If I find them, can I keep them?


Bumps

Bumps
Lots of dips and humps out to the mountains.


Headed Back

Headed Back - White Sands
Taking a look at the long hike back to the car.


Top and Bottom

Top and Bottom - White Sands
White on the top, white on the bottom.


No. Thing.

No. Thing.
This qualifies as a whole lot of nothing.


The Dunes

The Dunes
A lot of people think the desert is pretty blah, I find a serene beauty out here.


Can I See It?

Can I See It?
Is it a mirage, or is it the car? In this case, just a mirage.