White Sands Missile Range is a US Army rocket range of almost 8,300km2. It is here that among other things, the military test rockets and guided missiles, the space shuttle landed and where the first atomic bomb was tested.
We were very fortunate that friends of Aaron live on the base and invited us to stay with them for the night. Erin and Rich and their two gorgeous daughters not only welcomed us into their home, but took us on a tour of the missile park and museum, took us to the very spot the space shuttle, Colombia, landed on the white gypsum sands, and to Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was tested. The site is normally open two days a year, so we felt very privileged and thankful to Erin for showing us not only where the bomb went off, but also a look through McDonald's House, an old home about 2km from the site where the final stages of the bomb construction took place. Incredibly, this building was left standing after the blast, suffering only blown out windows from the shock wave.
After parting from Erin, Rich and the girls near the north edge of the range, we headed back to Albuquerque to ready ourselves for the big trip north.