White Sands

Pure white glistening sand dunes stretch for miles with the San Andres Mountain range beyond. Spencer and I have lunch by the dunes. I run and dig my bare feet into clean cool white sand. We walk through rippling waves of the barest white sand. No water, just sand.

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Driving through New Mexico, we are going up higher and higher and the terrain has changed dramatically from arid desert to mountainous, conifer forests. Cool temperatures. We reach a town called Cloud Croft-- there is skiing here. The farthest south for skiing. A few hours ago we were in the extreme desert heat, and now it looks and feels like New England. It is a nice relief. We drive to the Caverns and sleep in an RV park. In the morning we get up early and drive 10 minutes to the canyons. The land around is scenic mountain hills, desert fauna, cactus and small trees.

The caverns...

This is one of those places I will always remember vividly, a dark drippy, intricate world. I walked extremely slowly through the huge room and tunnels-- every surface an incredible natural formation. It is an enchanted cavernous world. Later, we took another tour. Mainly because I wanted more of the cave and because I knew they would turn out the modern electrified lighting and hold just a candle. Spencer asked a ranger to pose and she liked the work, but decided against it in the end.

After our meal we drive towards Albuquerque. It is extremely dark and the oncoming headlights always seem to be in our lane, heading straight towards us until finally they are close enough to see. It seems inevitable that one car will really end up on our lane, speeding towards us head on. I want Spencer to stop but he won't. I go into the back to sleep. Soon after he pulls over for the night. In the morning I wake up to cool soft light and mist rising from golden yellow fields. Around us are white stucco buildings. I think we're parked by a church. Spencer gets up early and we drive to Albuquerque and Route 66.