The shooting bug had really hit me (pardon the pun) and despite other various entertaining activities, including attending the International Balloon Fiesta, I wanted to go shoot stuff, again.
Off to the whitest desert we went, to camp, eat cactus and shoot at brown bottles and old tin cans! The group consisted of a bunch of Americans, one crazy Brit (me), a couple of guns and some tents. Great fun was had, despite the mosquitoes.
First evening we pitched up at an awesome camping spot at Bottomless Lakes State Park and spent our time building an epic bonfire for food, as you do, and obviously a decent amount of time shooting at tin cans and bottles. I really started to think I was in a film!
The next morning we packed up sharpish and headed off to another picturesque site to spend the night, in Ruidoso, also known as the ‘Year Round Playground of the South West’. It was stunning, and we spent a good day hiking around and exploring before finally pitching our tents in a little clearing in the wood under the stars, it was pretty damn cold tho, and therefor necessary to dress like eskimos!
After a fitful night sleep as a result of wondering what various rustlings were outside our tent (this is bear country, don’t you know?) and not having enough warmth, it was time to hit the road one last time before heading back up to Albuquerque. We were going to a magical place, so I was told, and boy were they right! White Sands National Monument truly is magical and some say is the reason New Mexico’s state phrase is ‘The Land of Enchantment’.
White Sand dunes are situated in the Tularosa Basin and make up the largest gypsum dunefield…in the world! The white sand itself is comprised of gypsum sand, a type of sand different to any other, it’s similar in shape to tiny flat shards and, if the light catches it just right it actually sparkles. As the sand gets blown about the state, during sunrise and sunset sometimes the land with glitter. Magic, hu?
It was only right that we went and immersed ourselves in this magical sand (and took lots of pictures) before heading back home. As the site is very close to Alomogordo (test site of the atomic bomb) there are sometimes still missile tests that are carried out, lucky for us, this was not one of those days. There are also rumours of a species of pocket mouse that lives here and is completely white! Firstly, I have no idea what a pocket mouse is, and secondly, I’m worried I might stand on it if it’s completely white!