Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

< Previous | List | Next > Lots of driving in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Also, a short stop at White Sands National Monument

I was thinking that perhaps I should summarize this day with just one sentence: "I did a lot of driving today." But that wouldn't be entirely correct, and on the other hand, that's part of what this trip is about: Driving through desert landscapes, the scenery going by at 75 MPH, stopping whenever something interesting is along the way...

I departed from the motel at about 8:15am, heading southeast towards New Mexico. Quickly stopped at Safford, AZ for some shopping, and then later in Denning, NM for food and fuel. Both average small towns, the latter with many fuel stations and motels seemingly living by and for the nearby Interstate.

Some undisturbed sand in White Sands National Monument After two more hours of driving, I arrived at the White Sands National Monument. My first impression was that there really was a lot of sand. The second was that there were just as many footprints virtually anywhere. Which kinda defies the purpose of a national monument, if you ask me. As such, I didn't stop for long, only wandered a few hundred feet into the dunes, took some photographs at various spots, every time composing the photograph to miss the omnipresent footsteps...

I departed around 4:10pm, heading towards El Paso and Guadalupe Mountains. The sun went down as I lost my way in El Paso, missing my exit to Highway 62/180, but only noticing so fifteen minutes later. I could have stayed in El Paso for the night, but large cities somehow seem less secure to me. That, and the motels were more expensive than I was prepared to pay. That motel in Globe sure made me a cheapskate. The last motel I saw, just outside of the city, was 28$. I was thinking that surely as I got out more, prices would fall... I didn't get to prove that point, since there were no more motels on the way. So I drove on...

I drove about one hour and a half in the darkness, and shortly after El Paso had to stop at another border patrol. This time, by a pretty friendly and chatty officer, who told me he was heading for Europe for a holiday in a few months, and wished me safe travels. I still don't know why everyone seems to think Luxembourg is in Germany, though.

I arrived in Guadalupe Mountains National Park by 20:40. Sneaked into the campground, moved the seat back and tried to find a comfortable position to sleep. I'm not sure if I did, but since I was able to sleep, that was a pretty moot point.

Miles driven: 601mi (967km)

Campground Accommodation: Campground (Guadalupe Mountains National Park): $0

Written on March 7th at sunrise at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park Visitor Center parking.