Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Paint It Black and White Sands

Today we are driving a short hour and a half up into Alamogordo New Mexico. I have a state sticker book and when I spend a night in the RV in a new state, I peel off the sticker of that state and paste it in. Tonight will be a new state slept in. I'm such a kid.

The drive is pretty uneventful and we end up in the RoadRunner KOA RV Park. The Rvs are about two picnic table lengths away from each other. My kind of place – not. As I walk around the RV, hooking everything up I notice something odd. Notice anything missing?


Evidently the cover to my water heater fell off somewhere down the road. Bummer. As I'm standing there contemplating my options, the dog from next door comes tearing over. He is in attack mode and heads straight for Miko. He tries to grab her in the shoulder, she slides around me she is on leash) and I haul off and land a solid kick on this monster dog (monster in demeanor, not size). If I wasn't so ticked off, it would have been funny – the look on his face like What? The owners grabbed him and took him back to their place. Miko was quite traumatized – there was no skin broken, but she sat there in the RV with her tail between her legs. She wouldn't even take a treat. Thankfully this only lasted for a little bit and then she was back to herself.

After we got it back together, I found a place that had a hot water cover but it was painted white. The guy said he would paint it black for me and I could pick it up the next day. All for $60.

The reason we are in Alamogordo is because it is a few miles down the road from White Sands National Monument – the largest gypsum field in the world. Gypsum looks like sand, so hence the name. We headed over there late afternoon. We wanted to drive around and see the sands and we also wanted to go sliding. We stopped at the Visitor's Center and got ourselves a couple of flying saucers and headed out to the dunes. Miko was with us – she could come play in the sand with us.

I think Miko thought she was up north. When we got out of the car to go play in the dunes, I think she thought she was seeing a whole big pile of snow. She bounded across the dunes, immediately sticking her nose in the sand just like she does in the snow. She came up with sand all over her nose, sneezing to beat the dickens.

We climbed a dune - interesting is that on one side of the dunes it is a fairly gentle slope and on the other side of the dunes, it looks straight down. We tried sledding on the gentle side and really couldn't get going to much even though I had waxed the hell out of the bottom side of the flying saucers. Finally, we decided to try the straight down side. Or rather, Lou decided to try that side. She went flying down and believe it or not, she didn't die. So, she talked me into trying it. Remember, I am really scared of heights, this was beyond scary for me. I shoved off and flew down the steep side. It was scary the whole way down, but I didn't crash, I didn't burn, I was pretty proud of myself for doing this. Thank you Lou for pushing me outside of my boundaries.

It was time for the twilight walk through the dunes. About an hour before sunset, a ranger does a nature walk through the dunes, explaining how the dunes came to be, what the wildlife is and how it all comes together. We had Carol as our volunteer ranger guide and she was extremely knowledgeable and also very funny as we walked through the dunes. She finishes up the tour just at that magical sunset hour when the light comes across the desert in a softer, more vibrant way. BTW, Miko was wonderful on the Twilight tour, she sat and listened attentively to everything Ranger Carol had to say.

**Thanks to Pete Lee for the cool post card

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