October 22, 2017. We leave Roswell taking Hwy 70 south with the intention of making a stopover in Hondo. It didn’t happen as I couldn’t find the little park mentioned in freecamping.net. Being fresh from our three day stay in Roswell/Bottomless Lakes it’s no problem to keep heading west.
We begin to climb and drive through part of the Lincoln National Forest and the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. It’s a beautiful day and a beautiful drive.
Little do I know we will end up in Las Cruces, 150 miles from Roswell as we can’t find Lake Holloman either, the next camp I am looking. When the clerk at Dollar General looked at me with that blank stare that signals, loud and clear, “I have no idea what you’re talking about lady,” we press on.
White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert is on our itinerary and it doesn’t disappoint. The dunes are made up of gypsum left when the ancient Permian Sea retreated. Mountains rose and carried the gypsum high, and later water from melting glaciers dissolved the mineral and returned it to the basin. Rain and snow continue this process.
The wind and sun separate the water from the gypsum and form selenite crystals. Wind and water break down the crystals making them smaller and smaller until they become sand. The ever present strong southwest winds keep the gypsum sand moving, piling it up and pushing dunes into various sizes and shapes.
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna