White Sands National Monument and Oliver Lee Memorial state park

Camped three nights at Oliver Lee. Beautiful scenery in both directions since the campsite sat up high over the valley near Alamogordo New Mexico. We hiked easier hikes since we all felt the elevation of 4363 feet. Sunset and sunrise were both beautiful most days.

White Sands has huge white gypsum sand dunes. This time of year it’s like finely ground sand, but in summer there are fields of crystals that will be worn down by the wind the next winter. Only 10,000 years old.

White Sands is dog friendly so we took Winston on most dune climbs until the sun against the stark white dunes started to bother his eyes. He was blinking feverishly.

Kids used saucers to slide down dunes and i took off my shoes to feel the cool “sand” on my feet. Mel and Winston wandered into a field until we read we shouldn’t leave the trail in this area, but not too soon to scare up a jack rabbit.

They’ve discovered prehistoric footprints as the sand has shifted. Mammoths, American lions and camels. We didn’t know the last two were on this continent at one point. The footprints are eventually covered back up with the wind moving the sand.

Oliver Lee campsites were nicely spaced with lots of privacy. We spent our second day just enjoying the sun, reading. relaxing and taking short hikes then watching the sunset.

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