2009 White Sands
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White Sands National Monument is about an hour east of Las Cruces over the Organ Mountains via the San Agustin Pass.  We have visited every year that we have been in New Mexico, including 2009.

As we did not do last year but have done most years, we visited in the evening to see the sunset.  The weather was perfect in terms of temperature and lack of wind, but it was cloudy, so the sunset wasn't as colorful as it usually is.



The entry fee hasn't changed at all in our 10 visits over the last 11 years.  No credit cards accepted.  Cash only.

Entrance right off of U.S. 70.

  Dinner at one of the picnic shelters.  With their big shields on one side, the idea, we think, is that you can turn the shelter so that the shield blocks the wind if there is any wind.  However, the shields and picnic table are attached to a thick concrete slab, and it seemed a pretty formidable task to rotate the thing.  We didn't try, although we had enough people on hand that we probably could have done it if needed.

Finishing our Subway dinner before an evening of stomach-churning sand-dune leaping.   Spelling out OHIO with our shadows.  I make them do this every year.  As a professional educator, I cannot let pass an opportunity to mix a little learning in with the leisure-time activities.  You'd think that being college students FROM Ohio they'd be able to SPELL Ohio, but you can never be too sure.  It's better to be safe.
It always seems that the best dunes are farthest from where you parked.
Aaron leaps.   Caitlin tries sliding on a plastic storage container lid.  It moved about 0.5 inches.
Jeff in the air.   Seth next.
Pat in some sort of chair configuration.  He next tried the boat configuration, but I didn't get a picture of it.   Caitlin abandons the plastic thing.
Task 5 team.  Steve, Kristen (who refused to jump at all), Caitlin, Seth, Aaron.   Task 3 team.  Jeff, Andy, Pat, Scott.
Andrew attempting to catch the football.   Aaron's indestructible back.
Seth face first.   When the sand ledge alone can't get you high enough...
...you ask to be thrown...   ...and when they don't throw you high enough, you ask again.
The final, group leap.  Carefully shielded in this is Kristen, who did not leap.
For posterity.  It was all we could do to convince Caitlin to keep her hands down.
Sunset.  A bit cloudy, but still pretty.