Monday, April 4, 2011

Sat, Mar 26, 2011: Southwest Spring Break, Day 1 - Denver, CO to Deming, NM

Arizona has been calling to me for quite some time now, and this spring break seemed like the perfect time to finally heed that call. I went back and forth for a while about the idea of B joining me on this journey, and finally decided to have him along. One of the places he really wanted to see was White Sands National Monument, which I already visited last spring... at which time it immediately became one of my favorite places in the world. The energy there is incredibly uplifting, calming, and delightful all at the same time. Would I go back? Of course!

The drive down took us past the Spanish Peaks, which I was able to capture since I was the passenger (and was for most of the trip!):
We took a quick stop at Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico.
I was shocked by the color of the water, which almost looked like it belonged in a tropical lagoon. B said that this is caused by the lake having a sandy bottom. It was really strange seeing all of this water randomly plopped in the middle of the desert. (The lake was artificially created by damming up the Rio Grande).
Another quick stop in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, a town that voted to rename itself after a popular radio program!
We planned to stay in Las Cruces that evening and enjoyed a view of the Organ Mountains while we raced toward White Sands from the city, hoping that the sunset would hold out for our arrival.
The park was well visited despite it being almost dusk, with most people either enjoying sledding down the dunes or setting up to soak in the sunset.
The random yet even patterns of tiny waves in the sand is hypnotic and vibrant.
The sunset granted our wish and was just sinking into its brilliant display as we strode across the sands to find a view unobstructed by people.
There was some sort of testing going on at the White Sands Missile Range, which sent clouds of dust up into the air. It made for a spectacular sunset, and the light vibrated across the earth and air.
While this brilliant display was taking place in the west, the east was filled with wonderfully soft colors and lightly shadowed curves.
A strong breeze came at times from the west and was wonderfully warm. We both wore light jackets and were perfectly comfortable.

I love this place with every inch of my existence.
Soft colors to the east:
There were several small clusters of clouds playing across the sky, dancing with the sparkling dust and vibrating sunset flames.
The lights of Alamogordo, a vision I was happy to leave behind on my last journey here, appeared warm and inviting on the horizon.
The energy of the sands is so warm, comforting, and uplifting that I found myself wishing once again that I could live there, or at least visit more often. The fact that we were able to reach White Sands in one day's drive made my world feel like a brighter place. I left the sands feeling at complete peace with myself and the world (and with a bit of silky soft snow white sand in my shoes! :) ).

Staying in Las Cruces ended up proving impossible, as every hotel and motel room in the city was booked due to a huge military event that weekend. We ended up finding a room in Deming, which placed us right at the mouth of our next day's journey.

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