Thursday, April 29, 2021

White Sands NP

Carlsbad had groves of pecan trees, here in Alamogordo it's pistachios. Yesterday we stopped at "Heart of the Desert, Pistachios and Wine" and did a little sampling.  Pistacio wine?  Neither Pat nor I were a fan of the Pistachio Rosé.  It was certainly different.  Pat thought it tasted like Geraniums?  I personally have never tasted Geraniums! 

Pat tasted a variety of flavored pistachios, all grown and processed at the local Eagle Ranch in New Mexico.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed the variety of chocolate covered ones.  They also had a nice selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars from "Olivelle."  Carmel corn, coffee, cookies and more, made of course, with Pistachios.

These were sooo good!(

We got an early start yesterday and arrived at the Alamogordo/White Sands KOA Journey by noon.  It rained off and on in the afternoon but nothing major.  We went to the White Sands Visitor's Center (about 14 miles away) and then headed down the sand dunes drive.

The Chihuahuan Desert is HUGE.  Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns, AND White Sands National Park's all reside in this same desert.  It is amazing how diverse it is.  Each place we've been has had  different vegetation, terrain, weather, etc. 

White Sands became a National Monument in 1933 and was redesignated  as a National Park in 2019. The difference between a National Monument and National Park is  the reason for preserving the land.

Next to the Visitor's Center is this historic sign from it's National Monument Days.  It will remain.

Our campground loans sleds, or you can buy one at the National Park for $19 new or $15 used (if they have any).  They will buy them back for $4.  While the kids looked like they were having fun, it looked like a lot of work climbing back up,  maybe worse than snow.  With that in mind we will take advantage of the loaners at the campground.  I had asked Pat if he had any of the silicon-based lubricant Clark Griswald (Chevy Chade) used in the movie "Christmas Vacation."  I didn't get an answer so I splurged and purchased sled wax at the NP for $2.  Since I'm not sure we'll make the climb up more than once I'll try to make it memorable!  This NP welcomes dogs, of course there's no way Krikkit could climb up the dunes and there's no way we could carry her 35 pounds up. We have enough trouble carrying her up and down the RV steps.  Then there's the sled.  No way would she get on that (not that I've tried before😁).

First views of White Sand Dunes as we approached.


Sand ripples

One of the picnic areas.

We don't stay at KOA's often.  Don't get me wrong, they can be pretty nice and have more amenities, but they can also be costly.  We enjoy more rustic campgrounds and don't require most of the amenities.  This was a time the KOA made sense, and it didn't disappoint, beautiful, clean, sand-sled loaners, wax (good thing I had bought some🤪) and more

Krikkit was happy to have nearly the only green grass in the park.

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