We said goodbye to the Guadalupe Mountain and headed west towards El Paso. The scenery was barren, flat at times, and unfortunately littered in some places.
This made my heart sad. We passed areas where old shacks were dilapidated. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures of what I saw. I am guessing that at one time, people were able to call this area their home, but obviously they had moved on. As we got closer to Las Cruces and El Paso, I realized that this is where they may have moved on to.
We found a RV park just outside of El Paso off the main highway in a town called Canutillo.
Our neighbor Matt, had a puppy named Crazy. He was soooooo adorable! The paws on this ten-week old pit were massive.
We only stayed for one night. The next day we were back on the road heading north into New Mexico, yet again.
Our next destination was Gila National Forest. On the way, Scott wanted to stop by Fort Bliss Military Reservation in Oro Grande where he had his desert training back in the early 1980’s.
We were able to get on to the access road and saw this very welcoming sign.
Scott was trying to remember what it looked like 35 years ago when he was last here. There had obviously been some changes. The following sign looks weathered and outdated.
We reached a point where we could no longer gain access and turned around. Now, we would have to travel the long way to get to Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. It really wasn’t too far out of the way. Before we knew it, we had arrived at our next campsite.
When we woke up the following morning on April 1st, it was 31 degrees outside and 41 degrees inside the trailer. We are talking COLD!! We got up and hiked Pine Tree Trail Loop, a 4.2 mile easy trek.
We haven’t seen many streams in New Mexico while hiking, instead we will often see a wash, where water will only travel when it is raining. All of a sudden, I was mesmerized by the sound of running water.
Later that day, we drove to White Sands National Monument.
We’ve made it a practice to stop in the Visitor’s Center first to watch an introductory movie and get a National Park Service brochure. This complex was designed in Pueblo Revival style during the Great Depression of 1930’s.
The Why of White Sands: “When the Permian Sea retreated millions of years ago, it left behind deep layers of gypsum. Mountains rose and carried the gypsum high. Later, water from melting glaciers dissolved the mineral and returned it to the basin. Today, rain and snow continue the process. For thousands of years, wind and sun have separated the water from shallow lakes from the gypsum and formed selenite crystals. Wind and water break down the crystals making them smaller and smaller until they are sand. Steady, strong southwest winds keep gypsum sand moving, piling it up and pushing dunes into various shapes and sizes.” We started on the one-mile loop Dunes Life Nature Trail.
We decided to do a little advertising and wrote our blog in the sand. I wonder how many new followers we will get?
Signs of spring?
We got back into the car and drove to the end of Dunes Drive. As you drive down the sandy road, it almost looks like a snow-covered road.
Along the way were various hikes, straight out and back, with lengths of 2.3 – 8.0 miles, as well as shaded picnic areas. But where is the water?
We left White Sands and headed on 70W back to our campsite. There were fields of beautiful, yellow flowers which brought such vivid color to the barren landscape.
Scott needed to get up close and personal.