Often as we travel, I cannot be at every site at the perfect time of day -- golden hour and sunset. There are not enough sunsets in one life to photograph every place during that brief window of time each day. We did manage to be at White Sands National Monument at the "right time" though on this trip. The pink hues of the sky, reflected on the beautiful white sand, create an image that I love. I love the mood of the image, and, of course, it is even more wonderful to actually experience it in person. I sat on a dune and watched the colors shift and merge and fade. I felt the vastness of the world--there was sand as far as I could see with rugged mountains framing them around the horizon. There was solitude and peace, beauty and magnitude.
We camped nearby and visited the dunes again the next morning. We climbed dune after dune and rolled and slid down them. We frolicked and explored the dunes in the sun. If you get the chance, we certainly recommend that you visit this and any of our national parks and monuments.
We learned some interesting things about the dunes (we are doing the Junior Ranger Program at each park, so we are learning all kinds of interesting things). The water that falls on the dunes does not enter the water system that flows into either of the oceans that border our continent. Instead, the water evaporates before it can drain away. The water at this location is not far from the surface and keeps the sand in its place so that the sand does not fly away in the wind.