Our travel trailer journeys have now led us to New Mexico. I haven’t spent much time in the state. My memories are of spending a half day in Albuquerque waiting for repairs on my 1970-something golden yellow Datsun pickup, circling the plaza in Santa Fe, and a tour of Carlsbad Cavern. My husband has other memories. His air force tour of duty in the early 1970s began in Clovis. It thankfully ended without a visit to Vietnam.
Neither of us had ever been to White Sands National Park. When we went we were amazed by the expanse of white, and the hardiness of the plants that grow through feet of gypsum sand. This sand is different from what you find on the beach, which is made of silica. One of the most outstanding plants was the Soaptree Yucca. It’s trunk grows up through the sand, the roots firmly planted in the water table close to the surface.
Native Americans used the plant like the way the northern tribes used the bison: not a piece was wasted. In fact, you can still make yucca soap yourself, according to Mother Earth News: https://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/yucca-soap-yucca-shampoo-zmaz81mjzraw. Quite a contrast to our plastic-driven, land-filling habits, including the plastic sleds they sold at the visitor center.
We watched a few people try to head down the dunes. It was slow going indeed! People found other uses for them, but I wonder where they will ultimately wind up. I have memories of using cardboard boxes to slide down grass hills, particularly the great big ones that surrounded appliances. Do you have those memories?
As we wander, it gives my brain a little bit of a rest so I can go back to writing.
I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter and get more stories surrounding my writing life. I also let you know about giveaways that are available to my readers. Just click the link at the top, enter your email, and get started on your first read.