day 153
white sands, new mexico

"Maybe Code Bravo means we're at war, but we're winning." -a.
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Whiter than Snow:
Land Area: 275 sq. mi.
Made Of: Gypsum Sand
From: The Tularosa Basin
Surrounded By: White Sands Missile Range

Claim to Fame: The surrounding missile range is an important testing site for experimental weaponry and space technology. While tests are conducted (about twice a week) both White Sands Park and Highway 70 are closed for about two hours at a time.

Should you see any pieces of metal in the dunes, you are to immediately contact the Park Ranger.

Memorial Teeth of the Day

Aimee decided to take a soft tumble down the sand. Kev decided to take a hard roll down a much steeper hill. Who's the bigger tumbledweeb?

Don't Eat Yellow Sand
Jan 27 - The White Sands area is like nothing I've ever seen before. First of all, you're driving throught the White Sands Missile Range to get there, so there's an aura of government conspiracy to the entire place. Threatening signs and men with guns prevail. There are warnings that you'll be detained while missiles are being tested. I don't know about you, but I have my doubts about being within such a small proximity to the area where missiles are being tested. The fact that they want to make sure I stay in the area until they're done seems a little backward to me.

But with all this going on, and it being Space Week, what better place to be than White Sands?

While the visitors to the Missile Range are getting strip-searched, guess what visitors to White Sands National Park do?

They treat the sand like snow.

Yessirree. They're out there like a bunch of Canucks after a February storm. We first stared in disbelief, thinking somehow we had been transported to the middle of Alaska (we are near Roswell, you know).

Subtle signs gave it away that we hadn't been abducted (besides the fact that there was no evidence of anal probes). The people walking around were wearing shorts and t-shirts. The man snowboarding down the dune (sandboarding?) wasn't wearing a shirt and I don't think his beard was to keep out the winter chill. Everywhere you looked were Krazy Karpets and Silly Saucers.

Well heck, this rocks. We've always loved sledding, but hated the fact that there are only a few weeks of the years that are really good for sledding. Unless you go to the ice slides at Chippewa Park, but in that case, there are only so many times each year you can risk your life (and only so many splinters you can pull out of your ass).

I remember when we were living in New York and we were trying to explain sledding to a few of our friends. They had never been, so they didn't understand the thrill of shooting down a steep cliff at sub-light speed with five other people piled into a slab of waxed wood, and then spending twenty minutes climbing back up to do it all over again.

Sledding is about getting bundled up like that kid in A Christmas Story until you have trouble moving your arms. Sledding is about the friction of your toboggan combined with your downhill velocity melting the snow just enough to create a sheet of ice below you, causing you to accelerate fast enough to pull your lips back from your face. Fascinatingly enough, the same physics that apply to sledding also apply to curling, which is why the friction of the sweeping brooms are enough to partially melt the ice. Mind you, we've learned that curling metaphors don't work in New York either.

Perhaps what I'm trying to convey is that Canadians take their sledding seriously. It just seems, I don't know, wrong to use a silly saucer on sand. Wearing shorts. The thought of it, well, gives me the shivers.

like sand through the hourglass...

these are the signs of our lives...

Law Not Enforced

Didn't Find a Thing

NASA's Space Base

The Scariest of All
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

White Sands, NM

Next Stop: Roswell!

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Today's Weather:
Crystal Clear

Daily Stats

Space Mural Museum:

National Parks Pass...
Savings Today:$6.00
Savings Total:$105.00

Sleeping Quarters
Bottomless Lakes State Park

Site D1-10. The question we ask today: is Bottomless Lake really bottomless? We're staying for two nights, so we'll have your answer tomorrow.

Cost: $10.00

La Pinata
T. or C., NM
K's Order:Beef Enchilada, Relleno, Chunky Burrito, Red Chile
A's Order:Tamale Plate
La Comida
Roswell, NM
K's Order:Cheese & Beef Enchilada, Relleno, Taco
A's Order:Stuffed Sopapillas

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Geronimo!