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WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, NEW MEXICO




To conclude our trip, we made one last stop at a site really incredible, exceptional, there are no words to describe such a large magnificidad, grandeur and beauty as that of a sandy desert completely white. He appeared to be in the Himalayan montañanas completely snowfall and yet we find ourselves in the same desert.




To not vary aventurilla we had another, this time with the police, it turns out that this desert is less than 100 km from the border with Mexico, so we must pass a check and I did not carry my passport so we stopped one while and were checking my identity, which I will tell you that no sepais obsession with the safety of Americans.




For a moment we thought we were not íban to let go, it would have been a real pity, but we finally did step. As you counted, this desert seems more snowy mountains that podais well imagine that simulate again, and without that skiabamos skies, and as if it were saltabamos in that mountain.















As you can see in this photograph the dunes were big enough to practice some declines funny. With respect to temperature again for this area in the south has made us heat, so that with respect to this issue are happy. One thing not so funny is that this place is that the sand gets everywhere as the sand so we ended up with sand by all parts of our body and our clothes and of course the car.
As this sand is formed to root plaster, explaining why it is white, a long time after having been there, the car appeared in plaster rocks solidified as a result of the accumulated sand and posteriormete together by moisture.
After this place we had planned to go to San Antonio and Austin, but we were too tired to continue visiting places and the truth is that as both are very close to Houston, because we thought that we could go in any other direction and opportunity and put home to rest.

Here I leave with you a couple of pictures of a nice contrast to the trunks of trees in the upper and tree with leaves and dry at the bottom.
The White Sands National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located about 25 km (15 miles) southwest of Alamogordo in western Otero County and northeastern Dona Ana County in the state of New Mexico, at an elevation of 4235 feet (1291 m). The area is in the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin valley area and comprises the southern part of a 710-km² (275-mi²) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals.

The first exploration was led by a party of US Army officers in 1849. The Mescalero Apache were already living in the area at the time. Hispanic families started farming communities in the area at Tularosa in 1861 and at La Luz in 1863.

The idea of creating a national park here goes back at least to 1898, when a group in El Paso proposed a Mescalero National Park. Their idea was for a game hunting preserve, which conflicted with the idea of preservation held by the Department of the Interior, and their plan was not successful. In 1921-1922 Albert Bacon Fall, United States Secretary of the Interior and owner of a large ranch in Three Rivers near White Sands, promoted the idea of a national park there an "All-Year National Park" that, unlike more northerly parks, would be usable all year round. This idea ran into a number of difficulties and did not succeed. Tom Charles, an Alamogordo insurance agent and civic booster, was influenced by Fall's ideas. By emphasizing the economic benefits Charles was able to mobilize enough support to have the park created.

On January 18, 1933, President Herbert Hoover created the White Sands National Monument, acting under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906. The dedication and grand opening was on April 29, 1934.

WSNM was placed on the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites on January 22, 2008. The state's two U.S. Senators, Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman, wrote letters of support of the application. U.S. Representative Stevan Pearce declined to support the application, saying, "I would guarantee that if White Sands Monument receives this designation, that there will at some point be international pressures exerted that could stop military operations as we know them today."

The WHS application generated much controversy in Otero County, most of it taking place in meetings of the Otero County Commission. A petition with 1,200 signatures opposing the
application was presented to the Commission on August 16, 2007. The Commission on August 23, 2007 passed a resolution of opposition to the application, and on October 18, 2007 passed
Ordinance 07-05 that purports to make it illegal for WSNM to become a World Heritage Site.
On January 24, 2008, after the Tentative List was announced, the Commission instructed the County Attorney to write a letter to the Secretary of the Interior, demanding that WSNM be taken off the list.

Gypsum is rarely found in the form of sand because it is water-so
luble. Normally, rain would dissolve the gypsum and carry it to the sea. Since the Tularosa Basin has no outlet to the sea, rain that dissolves gypsum from the surrounding San Andres and Sacramento Mountains is trapped within the basin, and the rain either sinks into the ground or forms shallow pools
which subsequently dry out and leave gypsum in a crystalline form, called selenite, on the surface. During the last ice age, a lake known as Lake Otero covered much of the basin. When it dried out, it left a large flat area of selenite crystals which is now the Alkali Flat. Another lake, Lake Lucero, at the southwest corner of the park, is a dry lake bed, at one of the lowest points of the basin, which occasionally fills with water.

The ground in the Alkali Flat and along Lake Lucero's shore is covered with selenite crystals
which reach lengths of up to three feet (1 m). Weathering and erosion eventually breaks the
crystals into sand-size grains that are carried away by the prevailing winds from the southwest, forming white dunes. The dunes constantly change shape and slowly move downwind, covering the plants in their path. Some species of plants, however, can grow rapidly enough to avoid being buried by the dunes.

From the visitor center at the entrance of the park, the Dunes Drive leads 8 miles (12 km) into the dunes. Four marked trails allow to explore the dunes by foot. During the su
mmer, there are also Ranger-guided orientation and nature walks. The park participates in the Junior Ranger Program, with various age-group-specific activities.

Unlike dunes made of quartz-based sand crystals, the gypsum does not readily convert the sun's energy into heat and thus can be walked upon safely with bare feet, even in the hottest summer months. In areas accessible by car, children frequently use the dunes for downhill sledding. Because the park lies completely within the White Sands Missile Range, both the park and U.S. Route 70 between Las Cruces, New Mexico and Alamogordo are subject to closure for safety reasons when tests are conducted on the missile range. On average, tests occur about twice a week, for a duration of one to two hours. Located on the northernmost boundaries of White Sands Missile Range, the Trinity Site can be found, where the first atom bomb was detonated.


VIDEOS IN WHITE SAND NATIONAL MONUMENT, NEW MEXICO



Sking in White Sand National Monument


Walking in the White Sands National Monument
December 2007

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