Saturday, February 18, 2006

11:15 AM Saturday February 18, 2006

Before I tell you about one of our recent adventures I want to say HAPPY WEDDING DAY to my wonderful niece, Tammy and her fiance Steve. They are being married in Reno, Nevada today and many of our clan have made the trip to share her special day. From Reno, she and Steve are taking Tammy's two children, Andy and Jessica to Disney World in Florida for a family honeymoon. I hear a second honeymoon, one for just the newlyweds is in the plans for sometime later. I'm so sorry to have missed the celebration but I know Tammy will forgive me for not being there. Much love and hearty congratulations to both of you!

And now for our newest special adventure. White Sands National Monument, nearly 300 square miles of sparkling white gypsum lies just 15 miles SW of Alamogordo, NM. It is also known as one of the world’s natural wonders and we couldn’t help but agree after driving the eight miles into the dunes one afternoon. The weather was perfect and due to the time of year I suppose, we had the place nearly to ourselves. Completely surrounded by White Sands Missile Range, an important testing site for experimental weaponry and space technology the whole park and even U.S.70 are closed on an average of twice a week for one or two hours while tests are being conducted. Luckily, all was quiet while we were there.

Gypsum becomes rock-hard when it is mixed with water but the commercially mined gypsum is mostly found underground. Did you know that “Plaster of Paris”, a crafter’s essential is pure gypsum? And of course, we all know about plasterboard or sheetrock, central in the building industry. So, once the blacktop runs out the road becomes hard packed pure white sand and an interesting phenomenon occurred to us. We began to feel like we were driving through snow-covered terrain; similar to what we’ve encountered in the northwest. Phil had to resist the urge to “dig a donut” out in the large empty center space of the picnic area. Back in our younger days, this was an enjoyable (and harmless) delight we’ve both experienced in deserted parking lots during heavy snowfall in Washington and Alaska. Does that mean we’re still kids are heart or has the state of senility begun? Time will tell ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment