By: Alex Halenda
It was mid-May and I hit the road heading towards California with my two dogs from Miami, Florida. I'm lucky to have friends who are in-the-know, and in a passing conversation with one of those special people, it was recommended I visit White Sands National Monument. It was a little bit out-of-the-way, but after taking a look at the photos, I knew I had to see this with my own two eyes.
So maybe you're taking a road trip this year, maybe you're within a 20 hour radius of this National Park. Well, if you are, I'm here to tell you why it's worth a 20 Hour drive, give or take a few.
Behold, my top five reasons why you HAVE to see White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.
1. This Might be as Close as you get to Being on Another Planet
Picture pure white sand dunes up to 20 feet high, sparse vegetation, and some areas absolutely none. I'd venture to say that the weather doesn't even matter, the sights are far too incredible. Have you ever fantasized about visiting another planet? Had a wild dream about a foreign land, or even read a great sci-fi book?
Knowing these places exist is one thing, but experiencing them first hand, that gives you content for dreams, visions, and expressions to share with your community. Maybe you'll even develop a deeper reverence for nature.
2. You can Surf the Dunes
Much like snowboarding, you can strap-into a stand up board (though made of a harder material than snowboards) and take your chances at flying down these dunes. Think of if the speed and the relatively soft landing! Makes you feel brace doesn't it? Well if not, you're not outta luck, it's just as fun to sled down these sweet baby dunes. Know that you'll get a great cardio workout floating down and running back up! No better place then out in nature!
3. Take EPIC Photos
The scenery is magical! If you ask me, magical scenery makes a photo extra special. The perspective of a close up dune, with layer and layer of dune peaks and valleys gives observers the feeling of vastness. And truly we all need to remember how big this gorgeous world is! So much to explore! One of the best times of day is the middle of sunset, when everything looks golden. Many photographers wait for this time of day to capture the best photos, not just at the dunes, but everywhere!
4. Cures your Border Fever
Ok, so I'm trying it out: "border fever", is a term I'm coining for the feeling that one needs to GTFO (get the F out) of America.
Have you been feeling over it in the USA? Like there's nothing left to see? Got border fever? Need something to take your mind off all the nonsense in the news?
I'd have to guess you're probably just not aware of all the incredible natural wonders we have, the art, the food, the people who tend to it all!
Visiting White Sands reminded me that there is so much here to explore, and I want to see it! Maybe it will cure your border fever too. No guarantees, but I would place some bets.
5. Go on a Guided Full Moon Hike
Gorgeous, serene, unusual - if you're into that sort of thing definitely go on the ranger guided hike the night before the full moon. Not only do you get to watch your own trippy shadow from the moonlight, but you might catch some of the wildlife that inhabits the dunes, moving amid the pure white sand. Only $8 per person ($4 if you're under 16), and lasts 1 hour.
Let me guess... You're already packing your bags right?! Or requesting your time off of work?! Or setting up a savings account for your road trip gas money?
Whatever it takes, I promise, this sight is worth it.
Now get out there and live Buddha friend!