On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


change of scenery

Tunnel in Lincoln National Forest

View on the other side of tunnel


Part of the Chihuahuan Desert in the park

The road is packed sand - no pavement

The only dune I climbed

View from top of dune

Kids sledding down dunes

I've driven enough Interstate highways this summer. I am almost at the end of my odyssey so today I decided to drive from Abilene, Texas to White Sands, New Mexico on "blue roads" only. You would think this would take longer since they are two lane roads used by lots of farm trucks. Oh contraire! The speed limits go from 65 to 75 mph on these rural roads and believe me if you do the speed limit you get passed!

The scenery went from scrub bushes, to large windmill farms, to oil fields, to local refineries ( and you can really smell them), to enormous expanses of land with twisting, curvy roads ( with no one on them!), and finally through a tunnel that came out on a magnificent view of what looked like a lake ( part of White Sands NM , upper left corner of photo) . After stopping to take in the beauty and to stretch my legs, I continued driving to White Sands. Make sure your tank is always full of gas - the fill up stations are M I L E S apart. Pray you don't need any assistance from AAA - some stretches didn't have cell service !

I arrived at about 3:30, took in an 8 minute movie at the Visitor Center, flashed my NP Golden Age Pass and took off for a drive around the dunes. There were so many interesting hikes - some too long for a 92 degree day, but some only a mile round trip ( some dune climbing involved) - very doable with a hat, sun block, and lots of water. I did not venture out because I have made it a policy never to hike alone but boy I was tempted. I did climb to the top of a rather small dune to get some perspective . Oh how I miss my Tom!

Alamogordo was out of my way and Las Cruces was only about 33 miles down the road. So here I am, nestled in what possibly could be my last night in a hotel. We'll see how far I get tomorrow.

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