White Sands National Monument

After our time at Saguaro National Park, we went to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico on our way home.

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Since we had been to Great Sand Dunes National Park before, we were excited to see sand that was pure white!

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The sand here is made out of Gypsum. People had considered originally making this place into a mine because there was millions of dollars to be made from the gypsum (what plaster is made out of, in some foods as well, and chalk).

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We were really glad they decided to protect this place instead of mining it!

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This is the boardwalk trail, the short and easy walk that goes over the top of the sand dunes towards the entrance of the park.

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The scenic drive through the park is on hard packed gypsum, pretty fun!

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We saw lots of these lizards. The lizards adapted to the sand by turning white colored, prior to the presence of the white sand dunes, the lizards were dark brown!

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We then did the backcountry camping hike, which was recommended as a good hike even if you aren’t camping because it spans 2 miles over the dunes.

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Walking on sand dunes is never as easy as Jeb makes it look in this picture! Lots of slipping and sliding instead.

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We tried hard to get a picture that shows the ripples in the sand. Hopefully you can see them!

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We were also battling a grayish colored sky thanks to the wildfires in the area. But I think we still got some pictures that show how pretty the dunes are!

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Despite being “only” 100 degrees this day, we still look pretty gross!

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Another fun part of our trip was that we drove through Hatch, New Mexico, the chili capital of the world! So we stopped in one of the many chili markets and bought all kinds of peppers! The red ones are hatch chilis, most of the others we had never even heard of before. We are excited to look up some recipes and burn our taste buds off! LOL.

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Definitely a great way to start off year 25! White Sands National Monument is well worth the stop!

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