Thursday, May 4, 2017

White Sands National Monument

Day 10 - White Sands National Monument

After leaving Roswell we headed to White Sands National Monument.  The ride there was beautiful! The mountains were impressive sitting off in the distance.  They are so different compared to the ones here in Georgia. 


As we made our way to White Sands we passed through several small towns, one of them was Ruidoso.  There we found a unique restaurant called Disco Taco, and that was a wonderful find!   Pulling into the parking lot was simple being that we were in our class B, I would not have tried doing that if I was pulling my travel trailer.  We had tasty tacos with the special green chili salsa that we dipped them in.  We also stopped at a place that sells metal yard art and Debra bought a whirl-y-gig with red Cardinals on it.  The whirl-y-gig broke down into two parts, the pole it sits on and the revolving part that is very sharp on the edges.  Traveling in a class B has it's drawbacks when buying souvenirs along the way.  I was able to place the pole under the bed, but the spinner is going to be a little bit of works making it's passage home.  For now, it is sitting on the bed behind the pantry.

Ruidoso is perched on a mountain at 6,729 feet above sea level.  What I thought was amazing is that they have a dual duty ski resort there that has both skiing and zip lining!  It is called Ski Apache and this is a quote from there website:

Take your zip-lining experience above and beyond with this three-span zip tour. This beautifully stunning adventure begins and rises above 11,000 feet. It is also complete with parallel cables so riders can glide down the mountain side-by-side. The adrenaline-pumping, three-part zip tour reaches over 8,900 feet in length, making it one of the longest in the world while offering a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
ELEVATION: 11,489 ft. at the top of Ski Apache
LENGTH: 8,890 feet
SPEED: up to 65MPH
DURATION: Total tour estimated time 1.5 hour
VIEWS: Most spectacular view in southern New Mexico

There is also a horse racing track in Ruidoso called Ruidoso Downs and Billy the Kid Casino.  We did not stop there, we were wanting to get to White Sands with time to enjoy our first time there.  

About 60 more miles to White Sands National Monument and the closer we get the more little glimpses of it we can see.

As get even closer we can spot wisps of white sand rising probably 100's of feet into the sky as the wind constantly blows over the sands.  

White Sands has a very soft sand, on a scale of 1 -10 it is rated at 2.  It is gypsum sand and that is why it is soft.  Talcum sand is rated at 1 and common granite sand is rated at 7, that is what we learned at the visitor center.  It is very cool to the touch, walking in it barefoot was very nice.  It is also very windy there, the sand blows everywhere and the dunes are always moving.   We were going to drive all the way in, but the pavement only goes in a short distance into the dune area.  After the pavement ends it was a very washboard road and it felt like it was beating our RV too much.  

 If you visit there make sure your windows are up and be quick opening and closing your door.  Otherwise, you will be finding sand inside your car or RV for quite awhile.  

After our visit we made it to the Walmart Supercenter in Deming, New Mexico.  I had found about it on my RVParky app, a very useful app, and it said they even had nighttime security!  As we pulled into the lot I spotted the security guard talking to a trucker.  The guard is responsible for making sure everyone parks properly, this is very important at this Walmart.  I pulled up and waited for to finish with the trucker, when he came over to me I greeted him and asked where should I park.  He started to tell and then stopped and said, "Your RV is small so You can park anywhere you like".  Another plus in my book for the class B!

I picked a spot near the front by an island end cap, a great place to walk Spike when needed and protected on one side by the island.    Shortly after I parked another class B pulled up along side us, a nice Roadtrek 210.

The parking lot at Deming is a very popular one for over night truckers and RV'ers, there is about 20 semis and 20 RV's in the lot!