White Sands National Monument


May 11

We’re in Las Cruces, New Mexico to visit White Sands. I must mention that Las Cruces is a very beautiful town surrounded by mountains, the views are really spectacular. Our RV campground is right off the highway but fantastic, a lot of privacy between  the sites and great wifi, which trust me it’s a huge thing when you’re on the road. I was struck  by the beautiful adobe architecture ( I’m sure we’ll see more along the way) and the fact that the color of the houses blend in with the desert landscape, so when you look out onto the valley, you don’t notice the houses at first. I’m sure this is all very normal for people around here, but for us easterners it’s unique.

But now for the main event. We drove out to White Sands National Monument (WSNM) early in the day and what a spectacular drive over the mountains that was.  What we first encountered as we entered the White Sands Missile Range area was the Air Force police which had closed down the highway as they were getting ready to shoot a missile across the highway and wanted to make sure that they did not take out an unlucky tourist in their car. So we were there for about 20 minutes until we saw the missile streak across the highway, and then finally we were on our way again.

We didn’t know what to expect at the WSNM but I had seen it featured in the Today show and Leo was very excited to visit and hike there. This has to be the most unique hike ever! They have several trails from 1 to 5 miles in distance. Now for the hikers out there that think 5 miles is nothing, try going up and down sand (actually gypsum) dunes. It’s a lot of work but the views are spectacular. The trail markers are spaced in a way that you can clearly see the next marker ahead. This is a very important thing because I would hate to lose my way in these sand dunes. We took plenty of water and long sleeves tops and long pants to protect us from the sun ( which was blazing) even though the temperature was a nice cool 72 degrees.

This place is fantastic and I would love to return to join some of the ranger lead off trail tours and evening concerts. Yes they have an amphitheater for evening concerts under the stars, I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting to listen to music than this. We will return for sure, it’s now a goal for me to hear music here.

On our way back into town we stopped at the historical town of Mesilla, which is part of the Las Cruces metropolitan area. It’s an adorable town square with a traditional Mexican layout, with a church as a focal point of the plaza. We visited the local shops and galleries that line the plaza and I was happy to find a great hat, I love to end my day with a great buy 😄

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