On day 2 of my visit to Carrizozo, I got up early and drove an hour south to White Sands National Park. I haven’t been there since the mid 70s. It brought back lots of fun memories of playing in the sand dunes, eating grilled hotdogs and enjoying family time.
On this day in January, there definitely wasn’t any kids playing in the sand dunes and nobody was grilling hot dogs! It was 20 degrees outside! But it made for perfect hiking weather.
Believe it or not, they have designated trails in the dunes. They must have to hike them regularly to make sure the markers are still visible. You basically follow markers sticking up out of the sand and they guide you on a roughly 2-mile loop. This day and age it’s pretty difficult to get lost in the dunes now that we have apps like Map my Hike that show you where your starting point was. But if you were to head out in the dunes without any new technology, it could be very easy to get lost and turned around in that sea of white.
So Scarlett and I headed off on a trail soon after the park opened. It was very cold out but the sky was clear and the sun was shining brightly. Hiking the dunes by yourself can be eerily quiet but so peaceful. I mostly followed the trail, but at times wandered off to get pictures without footprints in the sand.
Scarlett loved the dunes. She ran and ran and ran! Up one dune and quickly down the other. I soon lost sight of her and realized she was way far away. I called her back and told her to stay close to mom!
Come back Scarlett!
She loved running up and down the dunes.
My pretty girl!
While hiking I noticed two other people hiking the same trail but taking the reverse route. I got a nice pic of them way out on the dunes. Gives you a real idea of the scale of this place.
There are lots of critters that live in the dunes. I didn’t see any while I was there. But I saw lots of signs of life.
Coyote or fox tracks and a lizard walking in circles.
Lizard and bird tracks
And I left my own prints too!
I eventually crossed paths with the two other people on the trail. I asked them to take a picture of Scarlett and I. They were nice enough and took several!
Telling my girl to pose for the camera!
I was bundled up for the cold!
There are a few plants living among the dunes. It’s a gamble for them to take hold there.
Proof that the dunes are constantly shifting and moving.
With all that running around, Scarlett got hot. She managed to find the one shady spot among the dunes!
One spot of shade to cool off after all that running!
Here’s a photo of Scarlett below me. Some of the dunes were steep to climb up and go down.
Scarlett had a much easier time going up and down the dunes than me!
We had a fun time exploring. But soon we had to head back home.
And now for the exciting news!!!
While at the banquet in Carrizozo, I was told about the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show (ANMPAS). Entries for the event could be submitted by January 31 and I heard about this on the 28th!
So when I got home I had to quickly choose 3 photos to enter. While reviewing my photos taken at White Sands I came across one photo that really stood out. So I submitted the following photos to the event.
Ripples in the Sand
And I got 2 photos chosen!!!!
They chose the white sands photo and the tricolored heron. 🙂 They had over 400 entries this year and said it was difficult to choose the winning entries. I am honored to be a participant of this event.
There will be a gallery opening reception on April 1 and the gallery opens to the public on April 2. The event will run through April 23 at the Fine Arts Building at Expo New Mexico, Albuquerque. So if you get a chance, go by and view some outstanding photography by New Mexico artists. And all the art is for sale!