white sands


V.23 No.30 |

news

The Daily Word in James M. McGill, West Nile and meta-satellites

The Daily Word

The Albuquerque Isotopes overcame an early five-run deficit, zooming by the Sacramento Bees 8-7 on Wednesday night.

Some local mosquitoes tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

James M. McGill is a lawyer you can trust.

The Airforce Research Laboratories on Kirtland Air Force Base developed a meta-satellite.

Today, Mayor Berry will meet with officials from the Navajo Nation to discuss the senseless beating deaths of two Native American men who lived in Albuquerque.

On Tuesday evening, a man was rescued from a raging arroyo.

Nearly half a million humans visited White Sands National Monument last year.

At the quarterly Citizen’s Advisory Board meeting, Air Force officials and civilians discussed jet fuel clean up efforts.

There’s a plan to transport water via pipeline from the San Augustin aquifer to Rio Rancho, 142 miles away.

During the 1980s there were mysterious meetings in Albuquerque about flying saucers.

V.20 No.33 | 8/18/2011

Travel

Dune surfing. Couch surfing.

Late Sunday night found my roommate and I sitting on top of a dune in White Sands National Monument with an English couple we'd met earlier that morning. We'd lent them a tent, dropped their backpacks at our house and set out for a five-hour road trip through southwestern New Mexico. Bring a swimsuit for Elephant Butte Lake, we said, and a sleeping bag.

As bizarre as it was for my roommate and I to find ourselves camping with strangers, it was stranger for Julia and Fen who had started the day at Einstein Bagels without a plan.

Such is the beauty of CouchSurfing.org, a global nonprofit network connecting travelers with locals. The network encompasses more than 230 countries and three million members.

Each surfer (or surfer-couple) creates a profile describing their interests, goals, travel stories and pictures. Travelers send out messages asking if they can crash on a couch during their time in a city. Some people host every week, others only do so occasionally. No money changes hands, although it's considered polite to offer a bottle of wine or a home-cooked meal.

It takes a lot of trust to open your doors to a stranger or to spend the night on a foreign couch, so the network has set up a series of verification practices. The site confirms a member's name and address but the community relies on hosts and surfers vouching for each other. Perhaps the leap of faith is that the person you connect with will be someone with whom you want to spend a couple hours or even days.

While the four of us lounged on the marshmallow frosting dunes, we discussed the unusual circumstances that brought us together. Perhaps all CouchSurfers share a willingness to be spontaneous in the search for adventure—even if it means journeying deep into a 275-square-mile desert with strangers.

V.20 No.21 | 5/26/2011

Alibi Picks

Tour Lake Lucero

Now's your chance to dive into one of New Mexico's 7 Weird Wonders [Feature, "7 Wonders of New Mexico," May 12-18], but you might painfully strike the bottom even before you extend your arms. That's because Lake Lucero located at White Sands National Monument (19955 Hwy 70, Alamogordo) is bone-dry nearly all year round. Today beginning at 5 p.m., take a ranger-guided tour through the endless dunes of gypsum and unique selenite crystals that form in the lake when it's wet while learning about the plants and animals (sea monkeys!) that occupy the Tularosa Basin. Tours are $3 for adults and $1.50 for children, and reservations can be made by visiting nps.gov/whsa.

V.20 No.19 | 5/12/2011

Get Out

Black Lava, White Sands

I should not be writing this column. I should be speeding away from Albuquerque with the windows down and the music loud. I’ve got the travel part of this gig down. Now for the writing.

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Julia Minamata juliaminamata.com

Feature

7 Natural Wonders

This land is our land

Carlsbad Caverns, Valles Caldera, Tent Rocks, White Sands, Carrizozo Malpais, Otero Mesa and Bisti/De-Na-Zin
Julia Minamata juliaminamata.com

Feature

7 Weird Wonders

WTF, N.M.?

Atari Video Game Burial Site, Moore's Trading Post, The Oryx, Flying Paperboy of the Guadalupes, Toilet Rock, Lake Lucero and Mystery Stone