Day 3 of our 10 day road trip began with a visit to the "world's largest pistachio" located at McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch in Alamogordo, New Mexico. We stopped for a few photos before continuing on to our main destination of the day.
As an aside, if you ever do a road trip in the US, check out roadsideamerica.com for ideas on stops to make along your route. I referred to this website while I was researching this trip, and it is how I found the pistachio, among other stops.
White Sands National Monument was our main point of interest for the day. White Sands is the world's largest gypsum sand dunefield and much of it is preserved within White Sands National Monument.
The plan for the day was to complete the eight-mile scenic Dunes Drive as well as do three short hikes along the way.
We started with the longest hike since it was still early in the day and the temperature had not gotten too high. The Backcountry Trail is a 2.2 mile loop and provides access to campsites within the park. It also gives hikers the opportunity to walk along the dunes.
I am not quite sure of the distance we actually covered since we did not follow the trail exactly. This was my favorite part of the park because the dunes were almost completely devoid of vegetation. It was pure white sand with beautiful mountains in the background.
Waves within the sand.
Our second hike was along the Interdune Boardwalk. This short walk leads you along an elevated boardwalk in an area of the park where plant life thrives.
We were expecting to spend more time at White Sands but found that the final trail we intended to hike that day was closed. Without anything else planned to do, we decided to continue on the road.
We stayed the night in Las Cruces, the second largest city in New Mexico. We happened to be staying at the hotel that is host to the "world's largest chile pepper."
Since our day was cut short, we had a few hours to wash up and relax before dinner.
We dined at Savoy de Mesilla. Our experience at the restaurant was slightly odd because we were the only customers there the entire time!
My dish was cooked well and quite tasty. I had the Goji Sea Scallops and Shrimp (pan-seared scallops, tiger shrimp, cranberry almond quinoa couscous, assorted vegetables with Himalayan goji berry mango sauce).
Raisin Bread had the beef special with veggies, risotto and fingerling potatoes.
To end our day, we shared the Four Seasons Mousse (lemon and raspberry mousse with lemon pound cake, whipped cream, berries and a cookie).
The next day, we arrived at the second state on our road trip journey! More on that to come.