2015 Vacation: Days 13 and 14

Day 13: White Sands

I can't tell you how many early mornings we've had on this trip. You'd think I'd be all for sleeping in when the chance came. Well, I knew that the park didn't open until 10:30 because of nearby missile testing, but we still got up and got going bright and early. Oops. To our surprise, and delight, the gates were open when we got there and they were letting people in!


...we were informed that we had to be out by 11:30 because of missile testing. We could eat lunch in nearby Alamogordo and then return to the park at 2. That didn't sound too bad.

We got to the first stop and were barely out of the car when two Navy officers stopped by and informed us that we'd need to exit the park at 11! Sheesh. We only had about 30-40 minutes at that point. So we did what we could and then headed out. We ate lunch, killed some time in town, and then headed back.

The park was open when we returned and the rest of our time at the park was blissfully uninterrupted.

[caption id="attachment_2034" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Purple Sand Verbena Purple Sand Verbena[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2035" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Verbena up close Verbena up close[/caption]

I'd been to White Sands in 1992, with my grandparents, and I don't remember anyone sledding there, but it's something they allow now. I'd packed our sleds from home and we bought sled wax at the gift shop.

[caption id="attachment_2038" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The line up. The line up.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2029" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Grandma's in the lead! Grandma's in the lead![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2032" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Luke Luke[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2037" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Go, Tim! Go, Tim![/caption]

The sleds didn't move as quickly in the sand as they do on a good snow and the walk back up these soft, steep sand dunes is KILLER. Really, the best cardio around! We had a good time, though. It was a neat experience.


[caption id="attachment_2027" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Buried Sandy[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2033" align="aligncenter" width="200"]In deep In deep[/caption]

We also enjoyed just running around and exploring.

[caption id="attachment_2030" align="aligncenter" width="300"]On the sands On the sands[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2031" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Gypsum Gypsum[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2028" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Feet on the Sand Feet on the Sand[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2036" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Sand Angels Sand Angels[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2039" align="aligncenter" width="300"]My three guys. My three guys[/caption]

It was a really windy day and the fine gypsum sand was just everywhere. You know how sandy you feel after a day at the beach? This was like that x2! We all had it stuck to our faces and in our hair and ears and eyes and everywhere else.

The boys earned their 4th Jr. Ranger badge and then we packed up and called it a day. We got back on the road and headed toward TX.

Day 14: Home

Originally, we were going to stop in Oklahoma City and see the bombing site and a couple other small things. However, when we woke up and saw another gray and drizzle-y sky, we just sort of gave up and decided to get home, if we could. Two full weeks of go, go, go were wearing on us and all the gray and chill made it an easy decision.

We passed by Cadillac Ranch, but it was waaaaay too muddy to get out. We took pictures from a distance.

[caption id="attachment_2040" align="aligncenter" width="200"]2nd Amendment Cowboy. I don't know the story behind this, but I like him. 2nd Amendment Cowboy. I don't know the story behind this, but I like him.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2041" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Cadillac Ranch Cadillac Ranch[/caption]


The rest of the day was spent in the car and was uneventful until about 4 hours out. Luke suddenly got sick and started throwing up. We had to pull into a Walgreens and get him fresh clothes and disinfect the car. Poor guy. He felt terrible and was begging us to just stop for the night, but we were so close. Everyone shuffled around so I could sit next to him and help him out. In all, he threw up about 4 times and then suddenly was better. I guess it was something he ate? He was finally able to relax and even sleep a little.

We pulled into our driveway at about 1am. It was such a blessed sight! Home, sweet home!

The next day, as I unpacked my bag, I looked at each of the pins and ornaments that I'd collected along the way and I felt so blessed. I'd spent two weeks being awed by the sheer amount and variety of beauty that God has created. He is so amazing. I'm blessed to have experienced just a fraction of that beauty with people I love. It was really inspiring.

I hope my boys treasure those memories and experiences. I know I will.

I can't wait until next time!






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