white as snow
whiter than white
white as a sheet
the whites of his eyes
About 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo in New Mexico, in the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert is the Tularosa Basin. Here gypsum is washed off the mountains by the rain or brought by the wind. It is water-soluble and would normally be washed out to sea. Here, however, it stays in the basin as the water either evaporates or goes into the ground.
275 square miles of shifting, shining, white dunes.
Unlike quartz-based sand, the gypsum does not easily convert the sun's energy into heat and so the dunes are cool enough to walk on in bare feet, even when the summer sun is blazing overhead.
We visited here on our road trip last year.
This is an extract from the journal I kept: ... we saw a glint of white in the distance, a flash of silver on the horizon. White Sands ... we drove among the dunes. White. Dazzling white. So bright that the photos I took were a whiteout, until I remembered the 'snow' setting on the camera ... awesome ... magnificent ...
Grasses and other plants have adapted to life here.
and humans can enjoy the solitude ...