Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Flying Saucer in White Sands!

After visiting Roswell, we kept our eyes open for flying saucers.  And we saw one in White Sands, New Mexico!

Okay, okay... so it was a snow saucer...and it was Michelle who made it fly.  But still, it was a flying saucer in New Mexico!  I think it counts.  ;)

 White Sands was my kids' favorite part of the trip.  All 3 of them agree that it was the best.  It almost didn't happen.  My kids started arguing a lot and being really unkind in the car as we were headed to White Sands.  After trying to talk to them and encourage them to make better choices, they continued to argue.  So I pulled over to the side of the road and we sat until everyone calmed down, apologized and agreed to be respectful.  All of us were getting tired at this point and ready to go home.  Ella, especially, needs down time and time alone and she wasn't getting enough of it on this trip.  Near the end, she would often go sit in the tent by herself or the car by herself and have time alone.  But she and Gabby were starting to fight a lot.  And I was frustrated by their behavior and didn't react very well.  But after about 5-10 minutes of sitting on the side of the road and calming down (and telling them if they didn't, we would turn around and go back to camp and they would miss White Sands completely), we were ready to go there.   Annette had brought one snow saucer with her.  We were going to rent one or two.  We were lucky.  Someone had just returned two.  We got them for $10 each since they were used (rather than $15 each for new ones).  Then we headed to the dunes and tried it out.  We started on small ones for a few minutes and then headed deeper into the dunes to find bigger dunes.  It was pretty remarkable.  And lots of fun.  We spent about 3 hours there, playing in the sand, sliding down the dunes, eating lunch, and just enjoying the gorgeous weather.

We had races to see who could get down the hill the fastest.  We took turns having Davlynn go down with us.  It was a lot of fun.

For as far as the eye could see, it was white sand.  The sand is gypsum sand and covers 275 square miles of desert.  It is the largest gypsum sand dune in the world.  280 million years ago, the Permian Sea covered this area and gypsum settled on the sea floor.  Overtime, the sea vanished and the dunes became exposed.  They go through ongoing processes of erosion and renewal.  Pretty cool!

After White Sands, we headed to 3 Rivers Petroglyph Site.  It was pretty amazing (although Ella didn't want to do the walking/hiking required so she was cranky.)