White Sands National Monument
Today we wandered for about four miles in White Sands National Monument. A beautiful and magical place. The dunes and patterns in the sand are so sculptural. It is fun to look for animal tracks (other than people). In the interdune areas where there have been lakes after a rain, the waves have left interesting patterns and large gypsum crystals.
Once again we were astounded by the number of people. The large numbers could be because it was spring vacation so families were there to play for the day, or because they were not charging the usual admission — we had seen no notice of that. Families were there with picnic lunches, tents and umbrellas for shade, and disc sleds for sliding down the dunes. It was very festive and everyone seemed to be having a great time and getting lots of exercise.
It seemed odd though since when we were there 13 years ago, we saw just one other person when out in the dunes. Today, even with all the people near the road, at the 2-mile point when we turned around, we saw only three other hikers and few footprints.