So, if you read my previous blog, you know I was wondering about a road trip to see “sand.”
My goodness, all I need to do is look outside the patio door and I can see sand, so I was a wondering why we needed to go out in the heat on a trip to see more sand.
Then I heard the swchefs talking about white sand – theirs here is brown, so I’m a thinking maybe a road trip would be okay after all.
So we packed up the Antipasto Pasta Salad we had made earlier, some melon and peanut butter cookies,
lots of water and hit the road.
We were on our way to White Sands National Monument!
The park is located at the northern end of the about 50 miles northeast of .
This is the largest gypsum dune field [that’s why it’s white] in the world and it covers 275 square miles of desert.
You can see it from space on Google Earth. [The swchefs have a National Park Pass they bought in 1998; it’s really good deal – gets them into any national park or monument for life.]
We didn’t see any wildlife since most of the animals that live there are night creatures.
In the mornings, before the wind blows sand to cover the tracks, park rangers see signs of rabbits, foxes, coyotes and porcupines.
One of the other animals in the park is the bleached earless lizard – swchef says she’s glad we didn’t have to look at one of those.
Believe it or not (no, this isn’t Ripley’s) there are plants in that hot, dry, barren landscape, too!
Although they were done blooming when we were there, in late April and May we could have seen claret cup cactus, Soaptree Yucca, verbena, evening primrose and Mountain Peppergrass.
After driving through the sands and stopping for pictures, Mr. swchef decided we should drive up into the Sacramentos and visit the small mountain village of Cloudcroft.
(The swchefs used to have a cabin here, but the Mr. decided he didn’t move here (NM) to shovel snow, so they sold it to some folks from Texas.)
You know what?? The temperature at White Sands was 100+ and when we got to Cloudcroft, it was raining and the temperature was 56° - holy cannoli !!
None of us had jackets and we all had goose bumps.
The altitude in Cloudcroft is 8600 feet above sea level; I guess that had something to do with the temperature drop!!
On the way down the mountain, we stopped at the “The Old Apple Barn.”
It’s a neat old barn now a gift and fudge shop (but swchef said we didn’t need fudge, since we’d bought a huge peach pie at the Mercantile Bakery in Cloudcroft).
I got to see the Apple Boy – and I thought I was a “big guy.” I'm about 12" and he's about 12' - now tha'ts big!
Our last stop was at the Pistachio Ranch and Wine Shop outside of Alamogorda.
Yes, they grow pistachios and wine vines here.
I couldn’t buy any wine since I didn’t have any ID, but the Mr. bought a local red wine called the La Luz.
Heading home, I decided I needed a nap, so Chef Juan Carlos and I settled down in the back seat and snoozed all the way home.
It was a great adventure and I’m glad I got to see more of this beautiful state!