White Sands National Monument
Deming, New Mexico

April 9th

White Sands National Monument Visitor Center and Museum.

White Sands Dunes.

John trying to turn around in the sand to head back to the entrance.

A lonely cactus atop a dune.

Sissy enjoying a museum display. Notice the back side! No, not the spread - the tag on the back side of her shirt!

Heading out of Carlsbad was rather interesting. The temperature was about 52 with an overcast sky and the wind was light. Sissy had a cold sweat and was grasping the armrests on her seat! Why? Because John was taking the same route as the other day when traveling from Roswell through the mountains. Remember? It snowed! And, if Sissy had her way, she would tell you it was a blizzard!

Not so today - the temp warmed up and once into the mountains the sky cleared very nicely. We went through Cloud Croft (the place where it snowed before) without any problems. And, then it was time to go downhill (the kind of driving John likes) around the curves and past the "Warning - Steep Grade" signs. The truck rode like a dream, and John only had to use the brakes a couple times because he did most of the steep grades in 2nd gear. It was if the trailer wasn't even behind us.

Adobe style building in White Sands, New Mexico.

After the mountains, it was onto White Sands National Monument way out in the desert on Route 70, but well worth it! We used our National Park Pass (again) and we able to drive through the White Sands with both the truck and trailer. So, after a quick trip through the Visitor Center and Museum, we headed out onto the sand (paved road most of the way). It was beautiful, and we took plenty of pics.

It got to be a pain in the you know what to stop every 20 feet and get out of the truck for pics, so Sissy hopped into the truck bed while John drove (go figure). It was about 85 degrees in the desert and Sissy was better suited for the heat. John took his time while in the air-conditioned cab.

Sissy couldn't resist snapping this pic of John at White Sands.

Then it was onto Las Cruces on the other side of the mountains. We elected to bypass staying there for the night because we didn't see any suitable campgrounds and there was construction and dust all over the place. So, we continued on to Deming, New Mexico and the Little Vineyard RV Park just off exit 85. It was level and gravel with full hookups. Better yet, it had an indoor, heated swimming pool and spa which we took advantage of shortly after parking the rig. This was just a pit stop for us anyway since we were headed to Tucson in the morning to visit Sissy's brother (Jerry) and his family, and Rick and Crystal (friends of ours.)

While in the pool, we met some people from Canada and some others from Vermont. Both couples gave us advise on visiting their home bases, and both had been on the road since late 2001. The pool was inside a building with a cedar ceiling decorated with local plant life. It was very nice, but the spa was a little small and hot. When we went outside (still wet) to burn one, we about froze because of the difference in temperature; outside it was only in the 80's.

Desert view enroute to Sierra Vista, Arizona.

A couple hours went by and then it was time to head back. Don (from Nebraska and our neighbor) came by with a rum and coke in his hand admiring the bike, but the conversation soon changed to the Nebraska football team. He and Sissy got along great! John tried to chime in now and then, but you know how that went; Sissy is the sports buff.

Time for dinner! Don felt bad because he had already eaten so he went home. Sissy cooked ribs and baked potato which were both great! It was another early night watching cable TV and catching some winks before heading out in the morning. Onward to Tucson we went!

Another desert view enroute to Sierra Vista, Arizona.

John & Sissy EXCLUSIVE RATINGS: (1 bad - good 10)

  • Campground - 8
  • People - 10
  • Roads - 8
  • Scenery - 6
  • Traffic - 10
  • Things to Do - 6
  • Weather - 10

Next page in chronological order

All photographs are Copyright @ 2002 - 2008 by John T. VanderHeiden.
For information concerning your usage of any photographs, please see our User Agreement.