2013 Trip Three, New Mexico and VA, April 9

Rio Grande from White Rocks

Rio Grande from White Rocks

Valles Caldera

Valles Caldera

First of two Gilman tunnels

First of two Gilman tunnels

We have not seen measurable precipitation since March 12 while driving through Minnesota and Iowa. Snow was supposed to be falling in some of the higher elevations today but not around Jude’s house. We have, however, seen blowing dust frequently and beautiful sunsets.

Last Friday we drove to Los Alamos New Mexico, the Los Alamos national laboratory. Since the laboratory is not open to outsiders, we visited the Bradbury science Museum in the downtown area. The museum focuses not only on the atomic bomb but the many other accomplishments of the laboratory. We increased our scientific knowledge immeasurably.

Sunday we drove the Jimez mountains scenic byways. We stopped at white rocks overlook observing the Rio Grande canyon. We took a van tour of the 89,000 acre Valles Caldera preserve. While home to a herd of 1500 elk, they were all hiding in a different part of the preserve from where we were. The caldera was formed by one of three US super volcanoes but is not currently considered an active volcano. Our tour focused more on the grasslands at 8500 foot elevation which have been ranched since the 1800s.

Our drive on the Jimez Mtns byway continued with stops at Battleship Rocks, Jemez Springs and the Gilman tunnels. The tunnels cut through beautiful red rocks and were constructed to enable logging in the area.
THe scenery was beautiful even if dry. We have seen flowers and trees blooming in the Albuquerque area but it is slow to show itself at this higher elevation. Forests of aspen are still without leaves.

Note: The title of trip three has been modified to reflect that we will be driving directly to VA to catch up with what would have been Trip 4, the Chesapeake Bay trip.

Ed April 9, 9:30 pm

Update Wed AM.
Well Mother Nature decided if St. Paul was supposed to receive 4-6 inches of snow then we should at least get a light dusting. Overnight there was enough snow so we can see it but certainly less than an inch.

Categories: road trip, travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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