Monday, December 03, 2018

The Southwestern Sojourn - Day 6: Holloman BLM and White Sands National Monument

I decided to leave the Organ Mountains BLM Campground today and head over to the White Sands National Monument.  It was less than an hour's drive away so it didn't take long to find a spot and setup.

Here was the sunset from the Organ Mountain campground:

Staying at the Holloman Lake BLM camping area, located near Holloman AFB.

After work, I geared up and rode Scarlett to the nearby White Sands National Monument entrance.  The first four miles are not inspiring, just low mounds of white sand but halfway covered with boring prairie sage brush you see everywhere in the desert.

After 4 miles though, and once the pavement ends (becomes apparently packed dirt or sand), then the scenery gets much better as the instances of sage brush decreases dramatically and the dunes get bigger!

 Looks like a snow-covered landscape doesn't it?

At this point in the ride, I was laughing in delight at the scenery.  It reminded me so much of winter riding except I wasn't cold!  Delightful sensation.

 Wind Generated Patterns 

 self portraits?

And now for some pictures of the dunes:


 Sierra Blanca Peak lit during the "golden hour"

The park rangers were driving around, using loudspeakers to tell us visitors roaming the dunes that we were supposed to be out of the park by the end of sunset.

I wasn't getting good results with the light so I headed out and back to the Holloman Lake BLM campsite where I caught the last few minutes of light...

 That's the Organ Mountains reflected in the water

Closeup of the Organ Mountain peaks
as they reflect on the water.

I think I'll stay here more than one night, perhaps hit the White Sands National Monument again tomorrow after work.  


ScooterScum said...

Your comment about getting deeper into the dunes and the resemblance to snow reminded me of visiting the park on Thanksgiving, 1972, .... when it was snowing. It was one of the more surreal experiences to have falling snow on the dunes, and quite disorienting, while driving. For some reason it made more of an impression on me than driving in snowstorms in Connecticut in the winter.

If you get to Alamogordo and then go up to Cloud Croft, you will get another impression of the sand dunes and their extent that is quite different from riding into them and taking a hike over the dunes. There is also a nice space museum in Alamogordo celebrating a lot of what NASA has done as well as the early White Sands roll in our development of rocketry.

dom chang said...

Thanks for the info and story ScooterScum.

I don't think I'll go further east on this leg of the trip, time to start heading back west again in search of warmer climes. It was 25 degrees Fahrenheit this morning when I woke for the sunrise!

RichardM said...

Nice photos of the sand dunes including the selfie. You didn’t try lowering the tire pressure to venture an additional 10’ into the dunes? Then you could’ve tried the self-extraction gear you carry ;-)

dom chang said...

Hard won experience has shown the rig’s skinny tires will bog down almost must think I’m a hooligan eh? :)

MotoVentures said...

We visited White Sands a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it! For us, it was way better than the Great Sand Dunes here in Colorado.

dom chang said...

Yes they are way more accessible!

SonjaM said...

Love the selfie, Dom. Stunning pics.

dom chang said...

Thanks SonjaM

Anonymous said...

Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few
of the images aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why but I think
its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different
internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

dom chang said...

Thanks Anonymous, I know that there were issues with the Internet's routing, at least within Centurylink's network which caused sporadic issues. The post's pics seem to be loading fine now.