Amid quarantine, my family and I took a road trip to New Mexico and Colorado. We spent the majority of our time surrounded by nature (specifically sand dunes as we decided to visit both Great Sands and White Sands) and also visited Santa Fe.
White Sands in New Mexico is...magical. Surreal. Being there, surrounded by mounds of white gypsum, is almost like being on a different planet. One of the things I can most clearly recall is how far out you can see. 360-degree views for miles on end. While we were there, we had the most dramatic weather- clear blue skies to dramatic storm clouds to a sunshower and double rainbow. The wind would pick up sporadically and create sand storms- beautiful to witness but not as fun to be in.
We then headed to one of my favorite cities- Santa Fe. I can't think of a city with character quite like this one. It was pretty quiet this time around (due to COVID-19), but charming nevertheless. When we were there, we visited a few galleries, perused the stores downtown, and took our time enjoying the city. I can never get over the quaint neighborhoods filled with decade-old adobe homes. Not to mention the beautiful weather.
Our final destination was Great Sands. Originally, we were set to head to Durango and Telluride...but because of a rainy forecast, we decided to re-route. Driving up to the dunes was strange- it was like someone just dumped billions of tons of sand on a vast, open plain next to the mountains. Just like White Sands, it was surreal. Different, but still beautiful. Harder to climb, though :') On our first night, we didn't hike all the way up to High Dune; instead, we settled for a smaller dune with expansive views of the mountains and plains surrounding us. It was incredible how far we would see- there was a storm and we could see the whole thing. Every minute or so, we would see lightning from hundreds of miles away.