Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is hours from anywhere by car. Four nights at this quiet and remote location has provided respite from a barrage of aggravations that have cropped up since Margaret and I began our journey to collect a new travel trailer in Texas and road-trip for five weeks. Excited about finally having our new tiny home, we arrived at the designated Walmart at the Texas border only to discover it was the wrong one! So we figured we’d make the best of it in the wrong trailer while waiting for delivery of the one we ordered. Although beautiful in their own ways, the parks and monuments far south around Texas and Carlsbad, Alamogordo in Southern New Mexico were a bit too dusty and somewhat urban for us; and after two weeks of roaming around with no guaranteed solution in the works, we threw in the towel and drove the additional 1200 miles round trip to the La Casita Factory in Rice, Texas and got our new home on wheels…which we love.
These several days here in the Gila Wilderness, although still far south in New Mexico, have renewed our spirits and launched us into a more familiar northern New Mexico state-of-mind.
The sand dunes of White Sands National Monument are extraordinary! With a US Air Force base nearby and being only minutes from Alamogordo, there were hundreds of folks out enjoying themselves on a Sunday. But while most were rushing away to avoid nightfall, the hour of beauty had just begun for the photographer. I have photographed many dunes over my career, and this was my ultimate experience. The period of sunset - a time of purple light in the “blue-hour” and then the spectacular “Worm Moon” rising a few minutes later as expected at 7:35. I knew I would have about a twenty-minute walk back to the car in the gathering darkness and that the rangers would close the park at 8:00 p.m. With tears in my eyes from the awesome beauty and no time to waste, I made my captures. I was bit late getting back to my truck and was relieved to see four other cars still parked there… as I quietly slipped away into the night.