Day 7: White Sands, NM

273 miles
17.5mpg
Holy Ghost Campground, Santa Fe National Forest: $8

My night camping at Lake Holloman was filled with lightning, wind, and rain. Before I went to bed I snapped about 100 shots on my iPhone to catch this one glimpse of lightning, Apropos of my trip to Roswell.   

Compare:  

But the real reason I was camping there was to be close to White Sands National Monument to get in when it opened at 7 AM, when I knew the light across the Sands would be magical. The rain had made the white gypsum the consistency of Bisquick.  

I’ll write another blog post soon about the type of beauty that makes a grown man cry, but I’ve never seen anything like this park. So simple, and so beautiful. The gypsum must absorb sound, because I think it is the quietest place I’ve ever been. At that hour they were only one or two other visitors in the entire park. 

It bears repeating: New Mexico is gorgeous.

 
(No filter on the previous photo)  

These are all from my iPhone. My “real camera” may have some better shots I’ll put in an album later.  

They even have little aluminum picnic shelters.        I went from the sublime to the absurd.  

“The largest pistachio in the world”

From there I drove for hours and hours, running parallel to freight trains, and through towns so small they only had three buildings, and headed to Pecos, NM.  My goal was the Holy Ghost Campground within the Santa Fe National Forest (16 miles north of Pecos)..   

It was one of those roads that just went up and up and up, and got more narrow, and once you’ve committed to a road like that, you can’t really turn around.  So I gingerly crossed little one lane rotted bridges, streambeds, and more dirt roads and ended up at the campground. mostly tent campers, but if you like minded brave souls with a tent trailer or two.

Further up, in the group camping area, I even saw some larger trailers. No hook ups, pit toilets, a few water pumps.

  
$16 later, I paid for two nights and camped above 8000 feet elevation next to a babbling creek.  

     

4 thoughts on “Day 7: White Sands, NM

  1. More incredible WOW ! pictures. I hope you’re under contract with Airstream for photos for their publications or ads. We’re living your trip vicariously and it’s thrilling. Stay safe. Love, Mom & Dad

  2. Breathtaking photographs and beautiful writing, Dan. Thank you for sharing your extraordinary experiences in such vivid ways.

  3. Stunning photos!! Each one better than the last. You are amazing!! Thank you for sharing the incredible beauty of this country with us.

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