After our day trip to Marfa, and an overnight stay in Van Horn, Texas, we headed to Salt Flat, Texas. The dry salt pan used to be a salt lake that dried up, and the result is the vast flat white land. The ground has this subtle sparkle from the salt, and after walking across the whole lake and back to our car, we could taste a bit of salt on our lips. There was only one other car that stopped alongside the road with us, but they didn’t stay too long. There is a marker that tells you a little bit about the history of the area, but other than that, most people probably overlook this area when driving by.
It was a warm day, but the slight breeze made it feel bearable. The white is blinding though, so our sunglasses stayed on. It was interesting crossing the expanse of it because there wasn’t much plant life or creepy crawling creatures, at least none that we noticed. There were bees flying, but that was about it. I took home a white branch as a souvenir.
White Sands National Monument was absolutely stunning. There is this large field of white sand dunes made of gypsum crystals. It totally trips you out because it looks cold (at least that’s what your mind tells you because it’s so reminiscent of snow), but it was so warm out. You don’t even attempt to wear shoes here because the sand is powder soft. We didn’t know what to expect, and was thinking it would be just like the salt flat, but this definitely exceeded our expectations. The whole area is so vast and we were just in awe at the beauty of it all; the glory of God is clearly evident in nature.
At the visitors center, you can learn more about the area and purchase a saucer sled ($15, but they’ll buy it back for $5). We drove around the dune field until we found the hill we wanted to go sledding on. I was a little nervous because we chose a steep one, so I made Ben go first. HA! I had butterflies in my stomach because I didn’t know what to expect, but oh man was that exhilarating. It was pure fun! I was happily shrieking as I made my way down. The uphill trek was a workout, but that trip down made it worth it. Ben and I felt like kids playing.
We will definitely be making another stop here with the girls one day. They would have a blast sledding up and down the hills. We were sending them videos of us sledding and they thought it was so funny how crazy we were screaming. From the salt pan, it was about a 2 hour drive to the white sands; these are definite road trip stops if you find yourself road tripping through west Texas and through the southwest part of New Mexico.