Sunday, March 27, 2011

Alamogordo, NM, and the White Sands National Monument

After leaving Willcox, AZ, the we headed towards Alamagordo, NM, home of the White Sands National Monument. Most people know of White Sands because this is where the first atomic bombs were tested, now called the Trinity Site. The Trinity Site itself is located at the north end of the White Sands and is not accessible except twice a year. So we settled on visiting the White Sands National Monument, just outside of Alamogordo.

As you can see, after driving only a few miles off the highway, all you can see is white sand.

They rent you sleds at the visitor center.
Needless to say, we indulged. The hard part is walking up the sand dunes so you can start your sled ride down.
After we exhaused ourselves sledding we went back to a nature hike. This hardened mound of sand looks more like rock.
After leaving the white sands area, we returned to town. There we went to the International Space Hall of Fame. Although not as big as some of the other space museums I've been too, this one wasn't bad at all.

But what did catch my eye was this cactus about to bloom.

Nearby was a sled. Can you imagine sitting on the red seat and being thrust forward over 632 mph? It happened in 1954. That was the fastest man had ever traveled.

Inside the museum was 3 floors of space history. On the walls they had pictures of people who have made an impact on the space program. They even included Issac Newton and Copernicus, as well as the modern day astronauts from around the world.

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