White Sands National Park is unlike any place I have visited before. The gypsum sand dunes are surprisingly easy to walk on, and almost have a clay-like texture. You can bring dogs into the park, too, which is awesome…Merle loved running around on the dunes. We obtained a backcountry permit from the visitor’s center, and walked a mile into the sand and set up camp. This allowed us to fully enjoy sunset and sunrise on the dunes. Being that we were at White Sands in January, we settled in for a damp, chilly night. In the morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, shook the ice off the tent, and crawled out to witness sunrise over White Sands. This was the first of many great decisions that day.