National Geographic : 1957 Jul
© National Geographic Society 129 Wind-driven Shower of Milky Dust Breaks Up a Track Meet on Heart of Sands Each year Alamogordo, New Mexico, 15 miles away, sponsors a Play Day at the monument. Billed as the world's largest picnic, the event features an old-timers' reunion, a track meet, softball games, and speechmaking. Sand surrounds the frolic in expanses so broad that it swallows crowds numbering thousands. Last year the temperamental sands stopped the show. Blasted by grit-laden gusts, the White Sands Relays adjourned to Alamogordo. ' On a calmer day the desert resembles a sea-rippled beach, ideal for ticktacktoe.