Friday, February 7, 2014


In the traveling life of the Wood Clan our days are usually rather - well, even. Lots of traffic and/or getting lost are generally the things that get us riled up the most. 

And snow.

Well, it wasn't so much that we had to travel through snow per se - after all, we are Canadian. But running into snow in southern USA when we least expect it tends to throw us for a loop.

Last Sunday was one such day. The crazy thing about the day is that we went through a whole range of emotions in a short period of time. 

It all started out well…...

Heading south on the 41 out of Moriarty. Look close - tumbleweeds. My sister sent me a link about the tumbleweed invasion in Clovis NM.
Our plan for the day was simple enough - to reach Alamogordo with the 41 to the 42 to the 54 - should be an easy ride. 
Since we didn't have wifi for the evening in Moriarty we didn't have a chance to check the weather. Not good.

What started out as a nice drive took a definite turn for the worse about half way through the 42. Ugh.

And worse…..

And worse.

The last thing we were expecting! And not only that but it was about 10:00am so little traffic had gone through and the snow and ice were sticking.

And then there were hills!

We were thankful to arrive into Corona - at least we were now getting on a main highway - the 54. 

Or not. 

Not. In a cruel twist of fate and bad timing, guess who was BEHIND us - yup  - the snowplow. We were on our own. 

It was a real nail bitter. Pretty quiet in the van. Good thing Derek is such a good driver and that we have so much weight. 

About a half hour later this happened. Now just look at the road up ahead. Black! We are going down.

To this! 
Relief. Shear relief.

Since are arrived into Alamogordo fairly early - lunch time - we decided to head out to White Sands, a mere 14 miles to the west. 

The White Sands National Monument. Derek and I were last here in 2006.

$3 per person 16+ - an amazing deal!

It is quite the drive in into the Sands - 8 miles - 13 kms - the landscape changes from grass to sand and vegetation to pure sand. 
We stopped first at the Dune Life Nature Trail parking lot. Time for lunch and a trail walk - a 1/2 mile loop.

Now this is the way to do snow sand angels.

Guess some of the sand has shifted.

On top of the dunes it was still quite cool with the wind but by the time we got to ground level we were really hot.

An amazing tree in the middle of the dunes. 

One of the best places for children - who needs playgrounds. If we lived close by I would have Cassia out here very often - a great way to burn off the energy and tap into the artist within.

There are also areas of petrified sand. This was a cliff that we could walk along. The heart is nice but really it's graffiti - isn't it?

Heading back to the van - a neat contrast - eh?

Deja vu.

Being a northerner, my brain always wants to tell me that this is snow. It is an odd feeling. 

At a certain point along the road in the pavement ends and you are driving on packed sand.

There are picnic areas with tables and shelters and pull outs. Although there were a fair number of cars we were able to find an area that we had all to ourselves for the afternoon.

Amazing - right?! The White Sands is one of my favourite places in the USA. Like Carlsbad Caverns - I hope everyone has a chance to visit sometime in their lives.

Should we jump?

Or slide?

Of course we should!

Chairs out, tea made - a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Both Cassis and Rufus were able to burn some serious energy.

Ya for the automatic timer on the camera! The Wood Clan in the Sands.

Lots of photography fun!

Waiting for the sunset….

Photographing the sands during the sunset can be a spectacular thing if the sunset is a good one. 

Sunday's sunset was ok but it sort of fizzled. 

The park closed at 6:00pm and Derek took this about 10 minutes to that. Time to go.

Rosy cheeked and tired we headed back to Alamogordo for the night.

Thanks for sitting through all the photos - hard to get it down to just a few from over 200 photos!

What a day!


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  1. Love the white sands, but not so much the snowy roads, brrr....
    Think you still to far north..
    Travel safe.

  2. Truly a beautiful area! And yes, the sand does look like snow in some of those pics....I have seen more than my share of snow this winter.....and cold temps------was -14 here this morning at that's cold!!!

    Safe Travels.............

  3. WOW this is one of your best. The tree shot with Cassia and Derek....and all of the sand shots for that matter. to go from the You bring me such sunshine on these what seem to be cloudy days! Looking for our blessed!

  4. All I can say is WOW!!! Teresa, are you sure those leaves on that tree weren't gold? Beautiful was that tree shot. That place for sure is on my bucket list. B safe


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