White Sands, New Mexico

by cheri block

White Sands New Mexico (between Las Cruces and Alamogordo)

Temperature (perfect for the high desert) 80 degrees

Sentimentality (barometric pressure 100 degrees)

My husband and I are spending time in the high desert of beautiful  southern New Mexico.

We’re here because my father Hugh was a U.S. Army dentist at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico in the early 50’s. Stevie and I were part of the Cold War, huddling in this remote place only 100 miles south of the Trinity Site, location of the test of the Atomic Bomb.

When Dad wasn’t pulling or filling teeth or building a boat ( like a New Age Noah) in the Army shop, we were picnicking at the White Sands National Monument. I thought you all might enjoy photographs from this 275 square mile outcropping of gypsum. My memories are precise and my trip back here today reinforced them, 55 years later.

Overlooking the Tularosa Basin on the way to the missile range.

We approach the sand dunes. It looks like snow.

We head up to the trail. I trail behind, looking for white lizards.

I take off my shoes. Surprise! The sand is cool.

New hat (thanks Sara) shields me from hot sun. Can you imagine what this place is like in August?

Now we drive to a place that stirs up my memories. Is it snow? Where do we picnic? Can I come down on my saucer? Is this place there or just an old part of memory that plays with imagination?

That may look like a snow drift, but it is white sand. Ahhhh….

There it is! The type of picnic table and shelter I remember.

The photo I was looking for.

Tomorrow, I will go back for sunset photos.

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About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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