White Sands, New Mexico.
Nothing could have prepared me for this spectacularly vast expanse of dazzling whiteness.
The wind had whipped the sparkling sand up into waves and patterns, giving texture to this ever-changing landscape. There was no sign of animal life yet I’m sure anything living here would lie low beneath the ground by day to keep out of the scorching brilliance.
Not that it was hot when I was there. I needed several layers to keep warm, and a hat and sunglasses to protect me from the blinding whiteness.
Sparse vegetation struggled valiantly to maintain a hold on life there, with a few scrubby trees hanging in, their trunks silvery smooth.