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Mike Collins
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
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Mike Collins
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PostTue Dec 27, 2022 12:43 pm 
Currently deployed to El Paso, TX assisting with health care delivery in a shelter housing hundreds of recent immigrants. After seven days on the volunteers are given one day off. I used my free day to visit White Sands NP. The weather was perfect to enjoy the day there. You are allowed to walk wherever you want EXCEPT. Part of the park boundaries include a portion of the White Sands Missile Range. You are not allowed to cross into that area which includes the lake. On the shore of the lake can be found the prints of mastodons from 11,000 years ago. You’ll have to be content with the on-line photos of those. Here is what I saw.

GaliWalker, Alpine Pedestrian, zimmertr, Now I Fly, awilsondc, Bootpathguy  KascadeFlat
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Mike Collins
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
Posts: 3028 | TRs | Pics
Mike Collins
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PostTue Dec 27, 2022 1:01 pm 
Photo IDs 2) Tree cholla. Yellow fruit are dry and tasteless. 3) Kit fox prints 4) Soaptree Yucca. The leaf fibers were used by the First Nations for rope, sandals, and baskets. 5) Hedgehog cactus 6) Great horned owl pellet beneath a roosting branch of cottonwood tree. 7) Rio Grande cottonwood 8) Cryptobiotic soil comprised of cyanobacteria, algae, and fungus. Avoid stepping in it. 9) Grasshopper mouse tracks 10) Oryx scat. The East-African oryx (gemsbok) are found in African deserts and were intentionally brought into White Sands Missile Range between 1969-1977. The original 95 have grown to a population between 3000-6000. 11) Burrowing owl burrow.

fffej50  KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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Joined: 06 Jul 2020
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Location: Eating peanut M&Ms under my blue tarp
KascadeFlat
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PostTue Dec 27, 2022 4:48 pm 
I spent a few years in the area and have been to White Sands many times. It is such a beautiful and rare place. Definitely worth the day trip!

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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Zloi
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Joined: 30 Sep 2009
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Location: Burien, bum magnet of the NW
Zloi
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 7:23 pm 
It's a beautiful and very interesting area. The only time I have visited (~20 years ago) they didn't allow overnight trips and you could only go after dark a few times a year by signing up for a ranger-led hike on a full-moon night. I think it would look great at night under a moon, so am hoping to get back there at some point for that.

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