February 7, 2016
White Sands National Monument (Revisited)
Last year we were delighted to feel like Lawrence of Arabia walking the Alkali Flats Trail in White Sands National Monument. Today, we repeated our trek. However, on our way to the trail we noticed a sign along the 16-mile loop park road which read, “Removal of sand prohibited”. Now, we never purposefully removed sand from the park, but whoever visits can't help but do so—it's done by the sand sticking in clumps (almost like mud) onto their vehicles and by the grains of sand oozing into their shoes.
This sand is no common ordinary sand; it is pure gypsum. Its origin has such a unique history that the saying “all the planets had to be aligned perfectly for it to happen!” applies here. Amazing! Here is the story: http://www.rozylowicz.com/retirement/whitesands/whitesands.html#form Those selenite crystals, part of the sand evolution process, can be viewed once a month on a ranger-led tour; otherwise Lake Lucero—site of the selenite crystals—is closed to the public.
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.