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The two RV Gypsies
at White Sands, New Mexico
April 14-17, 2009

Below you will find photos and some history of the White Sands. The sand is much whiter than the pictures show. At the bottom of this page you will find two sub-menus to see photos of The Space Mural, and more not-to-be-missed, plus some special photos from White Sands.
White Sands National Monument

West of Alamogordo, a vast area of desert and mountain ranges 100 by 40 miles in extent is closed to public access and used by the military for various kinds of weapons testing; this includes the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was detonated in July 1945. The other feature of interest in this otherwise desolate and un-welcoming land is 60 miles south in the flat Tularosa Basin. For thousands of years the prevailing westerly winds have deposited gypsum powder formerly eroded from the nearby San Andres Mountains, washed down by rainwater and deposited in the seasonal Lake Lucero, a few miles southwest. This created a huge area of white dunes covering 275 square miles. About half of the sands are within the boundaries of the White Sands National Monument, one of the most unusual and magical places in the Southwest.

White Sands national Monument sign
White Sands Visttor Center sign
The main road past White Sands National Monument is US 70; this (and the dunes) is closed to all traffic for a few hours once or twice a week as test missiles are fired overhead. A paved road leads from the visitor center at the monument entrance on US 70 to the start of the sands 2 miles north. The edge dunes are just a few meters high and support some plant life, with various species of grass, yucca and saltbush managing to survive at scattered points. Further into the monument there is little or no vegetation, just unbroken white landscape. The road is paved for a while, although blowing sand often covers the surface. Towards the center the surface is just compacted gypsum, and the 'road' becomes a series of large cleared areas which can be adapted to changes in dune position. They move by up to 20 feet per year. In this surreal environment, everything is white, dazzlingly bright and intensely hot in summer, capped on most days by a clear blue sky.
Karen & Carole
Karen & Carole
ABOVE: Karen and Carole ready to view the white sands.
sign - Dune Life Nature Trail
sign - Dune Life Nature Trail
Karen Duquette
sign about night critters
sign about climbing
the path to the dunes
white sand
white sand
sign about large predators
life in the sand dunes
white sand
white sand
LEE JUST HAD TO FEEL THE SAND TO SEE IF IT WAS HARD OR SOFT.
Lee feeling the dunes
Lee feeling the dunes
Lee in the white sand dunes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
sing about kit foxes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
Lee Duquette
sign about small critters
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
sign about lizards
white sand dunes
3 friends
Karen with her good friends, Carole & Jerry, who live in New Mexico. (Jerry named Karen "the Lightning Bug" because of her bright colors)
3 friends
Karen Duquette
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
Lee taking photos
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
Jerry Gerig
Jerry Gerig

Karen "the lightning bug"

LOOKING DOWN A SAND CLIFF
the lightning bug
looking down a sand cliff
cliffs
Jerry in the sand
the two RV  Gypsies
plants in the sand
driftwood in the sand
A sign about animals in the dunes - and some kind of animal tracks in the sand
sign about the dunes
"
Lee photographing the tree
Lee by the tree
close-up of the tree
an ugly tree
Lee & Jerry
a neat plant
dunes and trees
3 friends
Lee checking everything out
wood pieces in the dunes
white sand dunes
white sand dunes
a big hill
a big hill
sign about animal food
sign about critters' homes
a plant
close-up of the plant
bush
plant life
dunes & mountains
plant life
dunes
dunes
a sign
Carole Gerig
plants
next pageFOR MORE PHOTOS at WHITE SANDS (PLAY-TIME);

THE BOARDWALK; LEE ON DUNES