December 3, 2018


By Sarah Canelas
White Sands National Monument, NM
October 29, 2018

On the one full day that we were at White Sands, I walked the hiking trails barefoot.  When combined, the total distance was seven miles.  I think it was the longest distance I’ve ever covered without shoes.

The feeling of sand under my feet was nostalgic.

I haven’t been to the beach in years.  And gypsum sand behaves differently than silica—in the dim morning the pale dunes seemed more like snow.  But still.  

Perhaps it was the collected dampness.  While the surface may have been dry, water pooled beneath.  It is a basin.

One of the trails reached the edge of the Alkali Flat—the dry lakebed of what once was Lake Otero.  And at that furthest point, there is a warning sign.  It says not to go further—to stay on the trail.


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