Alamogordo - Albuquerque
Back to dunes but this time they are white. A beautiful contrast to the blue skies! White Sands National Monument is the world's largest gypsum dune field. Most of the valley is the property of th US military and is used as a missile range and landing site for the space shuttle.
We headed north to Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs racetrack and then on to Lincoln and Capitan. In Capitan we visted the Smokey Bear Museum and Park where the body of the original Smokey is entombed. Ski Apache Ski Resort on the side of Sierra Blanca was filled with spring skiers.
The road to Socorro goes through the lava fields of the Valley of Fires National Recreation area. We reached Albuquerque in the early evening. Albuquerque has one of the worst crime rates in the US so we didn't stray far from the hotel when it was dark.