National Monument 2: White Sands

One of the places we visited on our way home was the White Sands National Monument. Though we didn’t get to see any missile silos, we got to see a lot of sand. It’s pretty starkly white. Even the lizards, especially these fence lizards.

Well, okay, not all of it was totally colorless. Unfortunately for us, we were there for about half the average annual rainfall due to a tropical storm. Fortunately for us, we got to see the greenery on the hillsides because of this.

White Sands is also extremely popular for the ability to disc, which means buying an overpriced (if effective) plastic disc, waxing it, and then pretending all that gypsum sand is like snow with extra friction as you slide down the dunes.

It also has some cool wildlife (obviously not something we like to look for), including oryx, its own special white variant of several reptiles, ground tunneling spiders and zombie beetles.

Or just headless carapaces of beetles, but zombies are much more interesting from an academic perspective, what with the brains and all.

Truly, though, White Sands is a good place for a walk, a drive, or a nature excursion (they’ve got the standard one mile hike around their green areas). It’s also an excellent place to sand disc without your neighbors seeing you wipe out halfway down the hill.

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