Las Cruces and White Sands National Monument

As I said yesterday, we decided to leave Tucson and Gilbert Ray campground a day early, and break our trip to Guadalupe Mountain NP into two days.  We realized that if we drove to Las Cruces, NM, we would have enough time to take a side trip to White Sands National Monument.  We arrived at Las Cruces about 2 pm and after dropping the trailer at an RV park, we headed to White Sands NM.  It was about an hour drive, and well worth the trip.

White Sands National Monument is a very large area of sand dunes, many miles in length in the middle of the desert.  The sand is gypsum that comes from mineral deposits at a lake which is broken by weathering into sand, and blown into dunes.  It is quite remarkable to see this area of white sand dunes in the middle of the desert.  We drove up the road they plowed through the sand, about 8 miles north from the visitor center. The dunes are quite extensive and quite interesting to see.  In these photos, the sand looks rather gray.  I think my camera's white balance needs adjusting for scenes like this.

We stayed at the Hacienda RV Park in Las Cruces.  It was fine except for the problem, it seems, in just about every RV park we have stayed at: The WiFi is just plain inadequate.  Here, we could not get a connection at all.  It was basically a large parking lot with spaces for rigs with hookups, but the lack of WiFi was a real problem.  Verizon 4G worked well, but then there is the impact on the data plan.  We limited our usage, but then I checked our usage so far this month and saw that it was the last day for the monthly plan, and we had used 1GB of 3GB in the plan.  So I connected my laptop through my cell phone as a hotspot, and let Google Photos back up the photos.  In checking, that took about 1GB that day in about an hour to run this backup.  Obviously, I have to manage this usage carefully on our trip.

In dealing with the WiFi frustrations, I understand better why some fellow trailer travelers just buy a larger data plan and use that for their Internet connection.  It would be much more reliable.

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