Welcome back, folks. We left Stephen’s Monday morning for White Sands Nat’l Monument about 4 hours away. We slept in a little, but only because Buffalo Exchange in ABQ didn’t open until 10am, then We just took Our time loading up and getting out. We HAD to stop and see Lisa, a trip to ABQ wouldn’t be complete without her beautiful face, and then gas up and on the road again. We got to White Sands around 6:30pm which was perfect because that meant sunset. We went inside the visitor center and got the passport stamp for the site, and then went past to take the scenic drive.
The dunes in White Sands are unique in that they are made from gypsum crystals, not “sand”. Its the largest collection of gypsum dunes in the world!! They were so beautiful. When you first get in, there are desert plants everywhere:
and banks on the side of the road that you can’t see past…you just wonder whats out there.
Then, you get to where it’s just…white:
They told Us at the visitor center that the “sand” never gets hot out there because of it not being sand. We were encouraged to get out and walk around on it and I could NOT wait to kick off my shoes and jump out of the car!!
I may or may not have found out what its like to disrobe and stand in the White Sands at sunset and feel the wind and sand and be at peace…may or may not have gotten pictures of what I may or may not have done. 😉
We drove further up the road and found a place where the white seemed to go on forever (not like that was uncommon out there) and parked to walk around some more.
There were people sledding down the dunes like snow! We went past them, further out into the dunes and found the perfect photo op, but there were people’s heads barely peeking over the dune in the direction of the sunset. They had found the perfect place to watch the sunset too apparently. I did however run over to them and ask them if they would mind ducking down for my picture…which they did with a smile 🙂
We also got a pretty amazing picture of the sunset reflecting off the white:
When We left, Our next destination was Carlsbad to stay the night and wake up early to go exploring in Carlsbad Caverns. We went through Alamogordo, NM and beyond through the mtns, but about an hour and a half after leaving White Sands, We hear a loud pop and see a strange flash of light and then nothing…wth right? We decide to pull over to see if maybe there was damage to the bumper, or if We could tell what had made the sound. We stop, Cali gets out to check, and lo and behold, He watched the tire lose air right then and there. All the signs We had seen saying rocks could fall off the mountain…yeah, well, it happens. It happens when there is no cell phone service, in the dark, at 930pm if you don’t have a spare tire…in the middle of NOWHERE. Well, in the middle of the Mayhill/Cloudcroft area of New Mexico. Basically, everything that closed around 6pm was about 10 miles away, and anything still open, at least 35 miles away. A car was coming, so Cali went to the road to flag someone down…no luck. We then thought further and figured nobody was gonna stop for Cali in the night in the mountains. Duh. So about 20 minutes later, We hear another vehicle (miracle?) and I go to the road this time. Still no stop. 😦 We happen to be stopped in between two curves so anyone driving by can’t see Us until they are right up on Us. The truck that just passed was heard slowing down beyond the curve. Here it came again. Still no stop. Am I that pretty they had to drive by again? Well, the truck turns around again and comes back…to stop this time!! After “what seems to be the problem?” he wanted to know why I was flagging cars while a man crouched behind the car… good question. I introduce the two of them, he understands and gets out to see if he can help-gun in pocket 🙂 After going through the conversation where I tell him We don’t have a spare, may have a jack and could possibly have a lug wrench that fits, he offers to drive me to his house where his wife is probably worried (no cell service for him either) which is about a mile up the road so I can call the hotel in Carlsbad and let them know We won’t be there that night. The 15 year old girl in the giant ranch truck doesn’t look kidnapped, so I kiss Cali and get in the truck while Cali stays behind to keep an eye on everything We own. We talk on the short drive to his house and Im at ease almost instantly. Very very nice man. He lived down the next turn off, so if We had gone even 1/2 of a mile further, he never would have seen Us. We get to his house and all over the walls are pictures of kids and family pictures…so happy looking. I met his wife and found that they have 7 kids and more foster kids that they are trying to adopt. They were also “broken in” on the idea of modified people not too long ago as their daughter is a tattoo artist (“with these ‘things’ in her cheeks”) and her husband has “a giant bullring in his nose and tattoos all over his damn self. plus a mohawk. and one of those things you got on your face, he’s got one on his forehead” (insert head shake). They run a tattoo and piercing studio in Las Cruces NM called “Beneath the Skin“. Both him and his wife were the sweetest people ever. While I was there, he decided he would hook up his car-hauling trailer and tow Us to Alamogordo which was 40 MILES AWAY!! By this time, it was about 10:30-11:00pm. We were going to call a tow truck which would have cost Us a fortune, but he wouldn’t let Us. We returned to the car where Cali had been waiting, he drove the car up on the trailer and then drove Us into “town”. The place where he always goes to do anything with tires was closed of course, but he dropped the car off in the parking lot and then helped Us load Our stuff into the back of his truck and drove Us 3 buildings down to the “Satellite Inn“, where he then waited for Us to check in and helped unload Our stuff to the room. When he left, We tried to discuss paying him but he wouldn’t even entertain the idea. This man just saved Us likely hundreds of dollars…and wanted nothing in return. We had talked to him about his daughter and son-in-law and their studio, and since it was in Las Cruces (which was only a tad bit out of the way), We decided We simply had to meet them. Not to toot His horn or anything, but if Cali gives a thumbs up on a studio, or better yet, likes the people that run it, that can’t be anything but good for them. He’s kind of a big deal in the “industry”. Besides, since he wouldn’t take anything for his help, who better to get his address from than his daughter? And from everything We had heard, they were people We wanted to meet. We just hoped they weren’t jackasses.
Wanna know if they were or not?