24 Feb 2006 Friday

Jen went to work and we hit the road.  We checked out a town Jen mentioned, Madrid (pronounced Mad-rid), NM.  The road out there is under construction and we’re moving kind of slow.  The town of Madrid is a too small artsy town, but not natural artsy, more like wrecked car-parts artsy.  Ick. Ick! [+o(]

We called Carlsbad Caverns about a wild cave tour Andrew wanted to do, the Hall of the White Mountain Giant (the only tour at Carlsbad he hasn’t done yet).  The tours are only on Saturdays, only at 1 pm.  Tours for the next three weeks are full.  Sad [:(] It doesn’t look good for Andrew, but we may still show up and hope for a cancellation.

While heading further south, we saw a sign for the Very Large Array radio telescope, Plains of San Agustin, NM and took the exit.  It’s about 50 miles from the interstate, but we have time.  This is very cool, the VLA has been featured in many movies and documentaries, including the movie “Contact”.  The VLA is an astronomical observatory with 27 large disk-shaped antennas that are connected to form a single large radio telescope.  We got out the camp stove on the tailgate and fixed lunch in the parking lot of the visitor’s center.  When we got inside, we happened to catch up to a school tour being lead by someone there at the VLA.  It was a great tour and we found out much more than we would have with the usual walking tour. Yes [Y]

There is lots of BLM land out here, so after our tour, we found a free camping site in the Water Canyon campground in the Cibola National Forest.  

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