To The Desert With Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear

Oh no moms!   Really?  We are flying back home tomorrow?   It’s too soon.   But, our moms say, yes, our time here is almost over.   What to do on our last afternoon and evening?   Well, we are surrounded by desert, so let’s go to the desert.   In our tourist vans, looking out the window, Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear, watch the desert.

Zeb and Chanel going into the desert

Some plant growth here, but lots of sand.   Further from Dubai, the plants are more sparse.

Further into desert. Fewer plants

Our driver stops the van, slightly deflates the tires, and into the desert we go.   No roads here, just hills of sand, or sand dunes.   This is a crazy ride and we love it.   After parking in the sand, the duck, the bear and the humans get out to wander among the sand dunes.

Huge sand dunes here

It is pretty warm, but this was February, winter in the desert, so it was nice.   None of those horribly hot summer days.

Zeb and Chanel on the desert dunes

Chanel and Zeb look and feel rather small in the desert.   Eventually, back in the 4 wheel drive vans, we continue through the desert, adding a little air to the tires and get on the highway.   Wow!   Look what is waiting for us.

Ready to ride a camel. Camel is close to sand when we get on

Camels.   We are going to ride a camel, with our moms, of course.   When the camel stands up, we feel like we will fall over the camel’s head and into the sand.   But we don’t.  We are on the second camel in this photo.

Riding camel. We are on second camel. A little scary when camel stands up

Is our camel trying to get closer to a camel friend?   Yes, and he does get close.   Chanel’s mom even has a bruise on her leg from this camel encounter.   But we all have fun.   After the camel ride, we progress to the area set for us.   These dates are so good.

Snacks before dinner. Those dates are delicious!

The sweet balls are also wonderful.   The tables are set for us.

Tables are ready for us

We, and other groups of humans, will eat here.   Our buffet is to be wonderful.   We believe it.   All our food has been very good.   Before eating, the humans get henna tattoos.   A beautiful young Arabian lady applies the tattoos.

Humans got henna tattoo.

By morning, the raised henna will fall off, leaving the lines on human hands.   Those tattoos did look good in the morning.   Our moms went home with tattoos!   The birds of prey hunt in the desert.

This bird will soon fly for us.   He has his helmet on.

This guy will soon perform for us.   He flies fast and sees very well at night.

Bird flies and dives. Birds of Prey hunt at night. They are fast.  Great carpets here.

This bird is putting on a show now, but when free, he will hunt for his dinner.   Now it is getting dark.   The human entertainers begin.


This man twirled very fast and for a very long time.   Most humans would get dizzy and fall down, but not this man.   While twirling, he unwraps yards of cloth making different, flowing articles of clothing.   Next the female dancer begins to dance, with her cape flying in the wind.


Since it is now dark, the photography is finished.   After the dancers, the buffet lines begin.   Everything was so tasty and good.   And there was a lot of different foods to try.   And we sampled many things.   After the buffet, more entertainment and then our drive back to Dubai and the Hyatt Regency.   A wonderful ending to a wonderful trip.


White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico is surrounded by White Sands Missile Range.  Sometimes the monument is closed during missile range tests.  The monument closed right after we left.

White Sands National Monument has giant sand dunes.

White Sand in New Mexico

White Sand in New Mexico

The sand is primarily from gypsum.  This sand is fairly rare because gypsum dissolves in water, but there is no water here.  The sand is very white and beautiful.

I, Zeb the Duck, rode around the dunes with mom.  There are picnic tables, and many places to hike and climb the dunes.

Great place for a picnic

Great place for a picnic

We walked through the sand and up the hills.  It was fun.

Humans can even get round sleds and ride down the dunes.

So much fun!

So much fun!

Oh, to be a human kid.  These white sand dunes are great.

Mom took some pictures of the sand, most with me in it.  This one shows the ripples in the sand from the wind.

Wind ridges in the sand

Wind ridges in the sand

The hills and edges of the sand dunes do shift from the wind.  Several people were climbing sand and taking lots of pictures.

So much white sand

So much white sand

There is sand everywhere, but how much sand is really there?  If you dig at the shallow part, you will still be digging sand for more than 30 feet.   A sign said there is enough sand to fill 45 million boxcars.  That makes a train long enough to circle the earth, at the equator, 25 times.  That is a lot of sand!!

The sign at the visitor’s center said there were bleached earless lizards here.

Didn't see this animal

Didn’t see this animal

We did not see any, but they may have seen us.

This is one of my favorite photos.

White sand, blue sky, Zeb the Duck and the moon

White sand, blue sky, Zeb the Duck and the moon

The sand dunes with a moon still visible and, of course, with me, Zeb, are all together in this photo.

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is great.  I hope you visit it soon.  See for more information.