2011 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, 2011 included.

As we often try to do, we visited in the evening to see the sunset.  The weather was perfect in terms of temperature, cloud cover, and lack of wind.

 

 

 
Entry road after you leave the pavement.  You're driving on compressed sand, and it's managed just like snow, with snowplows.   After a quick dinner of Subway sandwiches, of which we took no photos, we got right to the dune jumping.  In the same way that standing at the edge of an abyss just makes you want to spit, standing on top of a dune just makes you want to jump.
     
     
 

An actual photo of an actual professor jumping.

   
     
     
 
Charles shows us a position that my back would never stand, which is why I don't jump.
I only take photos.
   
     
     
 
This is Morganna jumping on her own.  To the untrained eye, her jumping form would appear to be quite satisfactory.  However, this was not the case.   It was decided that Morganna needed to be shown how to properly go over the side.
     
     
 
Step 2 in Morganna's lessons on how to properly exit the top of the dune.   Aftermath of the toss.  She slowly climbs to her feet.  That's Luis next to her.  He appears to be dead.
     
     
 
When you tire of jumping, you can always make footprints.   Or just sit.
     
     
 
The two profs.  They mostly stood around telling others what to do.  That is, after all, what profs do.   We always end with one final, group jump before heading back to the vans to head back to Las Cruces and a much-anticipated stop at Scoopy's.
     
     
 
Because we're not from Pennsylvania or California, but rather because we come from a state that takes only four letters to spell, we have a prayer of actually having enough people to spell it out in shadows.  Here's how it looks behind the scenes.   Here's what it looks like in front of the scenes.  Sometimes, when it's a bit overcast and thus the sunlight is more diffuse, the shadows aren't as sharp.  Such was the case today, but you can still make out the word.
     
     
 
A close-up of the word, thus verifying that we can, in fact, spell.   Starting to get dark. Almost time to snap that photo of the sunset that we came out here for.
     
     
 
Sarah and David showing us the value of proper dental hygiene.
     
     
What we came to see.