Last year, I flew out to El Paso to visit my boyfriend while he was out there on a business trip. I implored him to take me to the the white sands in nearby New Mexico. I punched in “white sands” into my trusty Apple Maps, and saw that it was about 45 minutes away from our hotel. I knew I wanted to catch the sunset and dusk out there, so we twiddled our thumbs until it was time to leave. When we almost approached our destination (no sands in sight, but a few military vehicles looming), I realized that we were headed to “White Sands Missile Range”! The White Sands National Monument was actually an hour and half away, AND we had to backtrack on the one way road we ignorantly traveled down.
After a fast and furious dash to Alamogordo, New Mexico, where the monument is, more lies from Apple Maps, and a frustrating series of driving back and forth past the entrance, we finally made it. It was just in time to see some ominous storm clouds floating by as the sky struggled to save a few last gleams of daylight for us. However, we were rewarded for our efforts, as the sky was bathed in a palette of muted blues. We were even able to see the storm approaching in the distance.
The blankets of white sand consists of gypsum, a rare type of sand that is water soluble, and this is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. Visitors can also rent toboggans and sleds to slide down the soft sands, something that I will definitely have to try next time.
We were able to spend about twenty precious minutes on the sands before it was too dark, and just as we set back on the road, the torrential rains poured down as promised.