A Few Days at White Sands National Monument

After Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park we headed to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.  Michael had been wanting to go for a long time and we finally made it out of Texas even if the RV tried to stop us at every turn.  Here are some of our favorite photos from the few days we went out there.  It’s like being in another world.

Pictures taken from the Interdune Boardwalk:

white sands boardwalk white sands boardwalk 2again boardwalk

Pictures from the Alkali Flats Trail:

We did the Alkali Flats Trail and, while it was only 4.6 miles long, it was strenuous.  You’re hiking up and down steep dunes without shade for a few hours.  We started the hike around 9:30am and it got hot.  The views do make the hike worth it.  All around you are white rolling hills like waves frozen in time.  I think if we ever did it again we would go first thing in the morning when the park opens.

hike 5
You can see the posts marking the way for the hike in the center of the picture.
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The soil became compacted from the plant growing through it.

hike 2 hike 3

Sunset Pictures

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The next series of photos is Michael starting his modeling career.  This is fair warning to stop unless you want to see some slightly silly but supermodel worthy photos.


You’ve been warned.


I call these next set of photos–From around the frame, ole blue eyes

michale modeling 3

4michael 4

And this set–That guy that sat on the dunes and took off his hat



Carlsbad Caverns

We went to Carlsbad Caverns several times over the course of a week.  We took two trips into the main cavern, and a special tour to Spider Cave.  Right now the main cavern is only accessible by the natural entrance as their elevators are currently broken.  We enjoy hiking so we would’ve taken the natural entrance either way.  The mile walk in is about a 750′ descent.  All the rangers warned us – you have to come back up everything you go down. Continue reading Carlsbad Caverns

Shell we dance?

shells on table 1

I remember finding shells when I was little.  They were treasures, instantly put in a pocket, or held firmly in a fist.  Later, they were transferred to a bag or a box, maybe even kept in the pocket, to await the journey home from the beach.

And that was it.  Once I got home, the shells disappeared after a couple of weeks.  There wasn’t much to do with them and they lost a lot of their magic off the sand.  As I got older, I started to leave the shells on the beach.  The next person who walked by might appreciate them longer.

Then we came to Padre Island National Seashore

And I’m five years old again.

rachel running
Those are shells all over the sand!!! What?!!

rachel running 2
Rachel is super excited about the shells too.

Continue reading Shell we dance?

Welcome to the Valley….. Of Death!!!

Gizmo enjoying the last of Bishop.
Gizmo enjoying the last of The Pit.

I really feel like learning to drive a Class A motorhome has been trial by fire. The drive from Bishop, CA into Death Valley was much more intense than any other time I’ve driven Sweet B. On the road in, the grade ranged from 6-7% and the shoulders were non-existent. I’m talking guard rails 4” off the white lines. With our rig measuring 8’6” wide, I would have sworn the lanes were more narrow than that. The hairpin turns were quite terrifying. Luckily we could see a long ways ahead, so Tara could alert me to oncoming traffic while I looked back and forth between my mirrors making sure I wasn’t going to hit the guard rail with any part of Sweet B or the CRV. Because of the sight lines, I was able to be in the oncoming lane a substantial amount. Had I not, I’m sure I would have left some paint on the guard rails. The Valley of Death awaits you