Monthly Archives: April 2012

Looks like the road up to Colorado will lead to the following sites I’d really like to hit:

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Taos, NM
Taos, NM
Cimmaron Canyon State Park
St. James Hotel in Cimmaron
Urraca Mesa
Dawson Cemetery in Raton

I’ll be heading up from New Mexico on the first week in May. VERY excited to see the change in scenery along the drive, and also to see good friends that I haven’t visited in years. :)

TRAVELOG: Trinity Test Site and White Sands Missile Range

Shortly after I arrived in Albuquerque, I started talking to my dad about all the places he recommended visiting. During this discussion, I was made aware of the very fortunate fact that I was going to be in town for one of the only two days out of the year that the White Sands Missile Range open up their gates to welcome visitors to the Trinity Test site. I’d wanted to swing down that way to check out the NRAO Very Large Array as well as White Sands and Spaceport America down near Las Cruzas. After actually looking at everything on a map, I came to the realization that there was no way that I’d be able to hit Trinity, White Sands National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell AND the spaceport, so I had to drop the spaceport off the weekend roster. I’ll have to hit it when I’m swinging back through New Mexico at some point…

[more here]

TRAVELOG: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The early morning drive out to Carlsbad Caverns National Park was fairly uneventful, scenerywise – until you get to the canyons along the route to the memorial itself. The road winds through tall, rolling sandy mountains peppered with large swaths of bushes, cacti and trees still blackened by the fire that had closed the caves down last summer. The fire apparently spanned 30,438 acres along Highway 62/180 from Rattle Snake Canyon to Dark Canyon Road. Out of the over 117 known caves within the park grounds, Carlsbad Cavern is the largest and I believe the most well traveled. The lighting is fantastic and the winding way throughout the caverns is well paved. There are two options to get down to the caverns themselves…

[more here]

TRAVELOG: Petroglyphs, an Atomic Cannon and Prehistoric Cliff Dwellings

Over the weekend, visited a variety of places. Friday night, right after work, I picked up and headed out to the NRAO Very Large Array in Socorro, NM. I’d wanted to check this place out for years, as well as eventually wanting to travel to Puerto Rico see the enormous reflector array at the Arecibo Observatory. At least that’s one crossed off my list. I Arrived at the Array with plenty of sunlight to spare, which was what I was hoping for – access to the facility closes after sundown. On the highway in, the dishes look like little dots on the horizon that slowly get larger as you get closer to the array itself. Pulled in to the Visitor’s center, then took the walking trail out to the antennas…

[more here]

TRAVELOG: The Land Of Fire & Ice

The drive out to the Bandera Volcano is a very scenic one. Well, not that this entire place isn’t, but it’s more scenic than usual, I’ve found. Lots of mesas and plains that slowly morph into collections of tall Fir and Ponderosa Pine trees that begin twisting the closer you get to the crater itself. The lava makes it difficult for the trees to establish deep roots, so they grow in gnarled, eldritch shapes. It’s a fairly young forest – supposedly the oldest tree in the area is about 700 years old…

[more here]