This morning we were up and out before the sun. Don't believe me? Here's the evidence: Sunrise over Las Cruces.
We headed over to the eastern side of the Organ Mountains and took the very straight and not-too-narrow Highway 70 some 60 miles into the New Mexico desert.
Much of our morning drive crossed the White Sands Missile Range. Thankfully, no missile testing today, so the highway was wide open.
Our destination was White Sands National Monument. A first for us both, we were eager to see what this place had to offer. We flashed our National Parks Pass and took the aptly named Dunes Drive.
The National Parks Service recommends visiting White Sands in the early morning or the early evening. Tomorrow is a travel day, so we opted to save our sunset tour for a future visit. Our relatively early morning visit treated us to a majestic sky that made our first glimpses of the white sands quite dramatic.
It looks like snow, doesn't it? With the freshly plowed road and the chilly morning temps, we had to remind ourselves that we were looking at sand.
The Parks Service encourages visitors to explore the park on foot. This particular dune was just waiting to be climbed.
Who made all of these footprints? Oh! That would be us. It was great fun playing in this gigantic sandbox.
After finding our way out of White Sands, we headed north to Alamogordo. This quaint little town sits at the base of the Sacramento Mountains. Between getting up so early, making a long drive and running around the dunes, we were hungry. We spotted this sign and the many cars parked around it. Mom's is obviously a popular spot. So, we went in and checked it out. Our late breakfast was tasty and served with a smile. If you find yourself passing through "The Friendliest Town in America" Mom's is definitely worth a stop.
We're ready to get a good night's sleep and head West tomorrow. More soon from Arizona.