White Sands

Today was about mileage. Mileage days are short on photo’s.

The land surrounding El Paso is surprisingly agricultural, although small scale. Driving a small road out past Las Cruces took us through orchards of old trees.

Then the road wound up over a high ridge and the desert was clear and laid out below hugely. You could see the 100 miles past White Sands to Alamogordo. Nowhere so far has a view been so distant. Looking southeast.

And looking northeast.

Finally, after yesterday’s epic, White Sands. The sand is gypsum, laid down in a salty, tropical sea 275 million years ago. It doesn’t blow away because the water table, incredibly, is only three feet below the surface and the moisture binds it. The dunes are up to 60 feet high. But I arrived after Thanksgiving weekend and they were covered in footprints as far as the eye could see. Not really photo worthy. But I found a section of road that wound through, unspoiled. Very white.

Later, through a lava field.

And after 305 miles, back to the Rio Grande, which we haven’t seen since Big Bend, and is now running north/south, just before the sun goes down.

Ride notes: Why is my GPS dimming when I put it in the power mount? My watch strap is blowing out, add to shopping list.

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