US Trip 2018 – Day 26 – White Sands

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The route this day took us from Tombstone to Alamogordo, via White Sands National Monument. Another awesome day on the road!

Approximate time on road/out caching:  13 hours, 20 minutes
Total miles driven: 369.2 mi / 594,17 km
Total cahes found: 18
Total DNF: 1
States visited: Arizona, New Mexico
Famous places visited: Space Murals, White Sands Missile Range, White Sands National Monument
Most memorable cache: GC5GT7D Space Murals
Biggest surprise: The museum at Space Murals
Weather: Sunny
Highest temperature: 27,8°C / 82°F
Lowest temperature: 17,8°C / 64°F

Early up, again

Yes, we did it again, left the hotel around 6am. The first cache wasn’t far away today, we started with the virtual in Tombstone, GCF147 O.K. CORRAL.

Finally some new counties

We didn’t have much on the plan this day, but one of the goals was to get a couple new counties. A DNF on GC1M742 «Wickiup» almost cost us Grant County in New Mexico, but luckily for us we managed to find the backup GC7RVC2 NM 146.

Detour

Suddenly all traffic was directed off the interstate, and on to the frontage road. We eventually understood why, when we noticed the burning truck. Luckily it looked like the driver was safe. We were mainly just impressed by how smoothly they managed to get the traffic to flow.

Big bird

A couple caches, and counties, later, we arrived at GC1M946 The Big Bird. The bird is big, and kinda cool. But it’s first when you look closer that you realize how cool it really is. It’s made of recycled material!

Space Murals

We thought GC5GT7D Space Murals was going to be a quick and easy find. It was easy, and finding the cache didn’t take much time. But then we noticed the museum, and that took some time. It was also very interesting and nice to chat with the owner, and hear the history behind this place. This is exactly the kind of places we really enjoy visiting. If you’re ever in the area, visit the Space Murals and the museum!

Rockets everywhere

We saw a couple rockets (or parts of rockets) at the Space Murals museum, and a couple caches later we saw another one at GC1REAP Air Defence. And then we saw a lot of them at GCJ0DQ Get Your Rockets Off, which is located at the White Sands Missile Range Museum.

We arrived just in time to visit the museum before it closed for the day. Then we had an nice walk in the missile garden, which was a larger version of the rocket garden we visited in Utah.

Say what?

The next stop on our plan was White Sands National Monument. And we somehow managed to write down the wrong opening hours, so we thought it closed an hour earlier than it did. While driving there, we experienced something that we never expected to experience in the middle of a western country. We got stopped at a border checkpoint (not even close to any border), and had to show our passports! It was just pure luck that we had them available, and not buried deep in the luggage, since we knew we had to show them to get into the missile museum. It didn’t take much time, and the border patrol agent was very friendly, so it didn’t bother us at all. It was just felt very strange…

But, he told us White Sands should be great – and he was right – White Sands was awesome!

Having fun at White Sands

We noticed some «sandboards» (haha?) in the gift shop, so we decided to give it a try. It’s important to have some fun! And this was a lot more fun than it should have been 😛

Sunset at White Sands

There was a very specific reason for visiting White Sands at the end of the day today, and that was the sunset. We’ve seen pictures of the sunset here, and it looks magical. It was. It’s very strange standing here in hot weather, looking at the sand, and see it look more and more like snow as the sun is fading away.

Driving back was even stranger, now it really looked like we were driving on snow.

We only stopped at one more cache, and then it was time to get some sleep – after yet another long and very interesting day.

Pictures

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