One of my favorite places in our travels across the US has been the White Sands National Monument, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. This summer, our friends at Toyota have partnered with the Audobon Society to encourage everyone to exit the highway and visit beautiful, off-the-beaten-path places like White Sands.
We pulled into the entrance to the park, and drove onto the park grounds and I was immediately taken aback by how blindingly white and spare the landscape was. There are very few trees or shrubs or plants of any kind other than a few scrappy, withering survivors. A lonesome-looking horned lark hopped across the road, but otherwise, there was no discernable wildlife. The gypsum-dust sands form ripples as the wind blows, rippling across the dunes, like a white chenille robe.
We hiked around the dunes for a while, then I broke off from the group to find the Little Outhouse in Big Dunes, which sat like a lonely sentinal on the outskirts of the parking lot. Off to the left of the restroom, someone had plaintively written "I Lost" in the dune. I wondered whether they meant "I'm lost," which would have been ridiculous, since they were right next to the the parking lot leading to a road back to the Visitor's Center. More likely, they meant, "I lost a bet, and my husband dragged me out to see another sand dune."
- Explore nearly 100 nature destinations (70 of which are free to the public) along with a link to details and hours of operation.
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- Recommend favorite nature stops in your area to other nature seekers.
- Get personal recommendations from local leaders with a passion for caring for the environment.
Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the Toyota Women's Influencer Network through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of Toyota.
Photo Credits: All photos are © Glennia Campbell 2012.