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Desert Oasis

There isn't much to do at White Sands. And that is fine, because White Sands is a place where you empty your mind. Located an hour east of Las Cruces, New Mexico, White Sands National Monument is something everyone should experience. Most people have seen sand dunes before, but not like these. White Sands as its name suggests, is blinding white! You will need sunglasses, sunscreen and plenty of water.

It is fun to walk over the dunes, but you will have to go about a half-mile off the road before the footprints disappear. If you venture out far, make sure you have a compass and know which way the road is. Otherwise, you could be in a dangerous situation known as LOST! And there are 275 square miles of wavy gypsum dunes.

A variety of desert plants grow here-including the soaptree yucca. Animals do live here, but unless you visit at night, you probably won't see them. People have seen tracks of rodents, rabbits, foxes, coyotes and porcupines. You might see a tarantula during the day.

Taking pictures is difficult due to the brightness. It's best to use a manual camera and bracket. Also, a polarizing filter can enhance contrast and reduce glare. These photos were taken after a rainstorm closed the main road.

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