The cruise today was a relative short 198 miles to allow time to explore the White Sands NM in the Tularosa Basin. The White Sands are ground up gypsum crystals formed from dissolved gypsum that flows in streams from the surrounding mountain ranges. Since there is no outlet from the basin when the water evaporates the gypsum is exposed. The wind then blows the crystals into sand dunes up to 60 feet high. It is a really beautiful place. Today there was no wind, the temperature was close to 50 and it was sunny. We visited the nature center, read all the markers and hiked through a few of the dunes. Mavis took the "hero shot" of me. White Sands is also the location of a Missile Range and at times when missiles are being fired the highway and park are closed. Tonight we are in a KOA in Las Cruces that is high up with a magnificent view over the city.
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