Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Alamogordo Part II- White Sands

Hi all,
Today the plan was to head to White Sands National Monument. But first we wanted to check out the pistachio farms and store nearby.
 This is one of the big areas for growing pistachios and now pecans are also grown in huge fields about. They have two different stores close by competing for the tourist dollar. We hit PistachioLand, USA first as it has the worlds largest pistachio drawing you in. We had samples of different flavors including the green and red chili, bbq, and ranch. We also had wanted to sample the pistachio wine but being a Sunday would not be able to until noon, oh darn- another day.
 We next stopped at the Heart of the Desert which boast being the oldest grower in New Mexico. They had many of the same offerings of flavored but also offered a pistachio ice cream and pistachio flavored popcorn. We happily spread the wealth between the stores.
 Finally on to White Sands we stopped at the visitor center for some quick knowledge of the park. White Sands is a 275 square mile of gypsum sand of wave like dunes. The dunes are ever changing driven by the strong southwest winds. White Sands Missile Range (4000 sq. mi.) surrounds the park and is still a important testing site today.

We had brought a picnic lunch and planned to stay to see one of the famous sunsets. We had a pretty good time checking different areas out and taking walks up and down the dunes. Our weather was sunny and 70 great for exploring and not getting to burnt out from the sun or reflection. One other item of note is the gypsum sand always remains cool even in the peak of summer.
 Hiking is not the only activity in the park, you can buy or rent a sled to do a bit of sled riding.  Wendy and I were hanging out in one area and a sled that was left by some other patron kept calling our names. So why not we gave it a short go, while not quite as fast as snow it was much more fun doing in 70 degree weather.
 We grabbed our chairs and to relax a bit waiting for the beautiful sunset but it was not to be today as some heavy clouds rolled in.