Week 113 - New Mexico, Isleta, Datil & Gallup - 10-12-2008
Otra semana en New Mexico,
1) Leaving Santa Fe, the Mothership heads south. (Photo courtesy of
Sid). 2) Isleta Indian Casino has a Hotel, Golf Course and RV
Park. Next to the RV park are two stocked fishing lakes. We stayed
two more nights with our traveling neighbors, Ben and Sid.
Ben and Pete hit the links. There are 27 holes at this course. Pete
thought his 123 was a pretty good score until he found out they only
played 18 holes. The course is beautiful but the outer rough is so
thick, that we never found our balls that landed there.
Southwest of Albuquerque is the VLA, Very Large Array. The National
Radio Astronomy Observatory has 27 dish antennas each 82 feet across. These dishes are mounted on three railroad tracks in a Y
The dishes can be repositioned along the lines of the Y
the tips being up to 22.3 miles apart. This Y
shape of dishes
allow them to act as a single antenna the size of the Y
So what are these antennas used for? According to www.Wikipedia.org
"The VLA is a multi-purpose instrument designed to allow investigations of many astronomical objects, including radio galaxies, quasars, pulsars, supernova remnants, gamma ray bursts, radio-emitting stars, the sun and planets, astrophysical masers, black holes, and the hydrogen gas that constitutes a large portion of the Milky Way galaxy as well as external galaxies. In 1989 the VLA was used to receive radio communications from the Voyager 2 spacecraft as it flew by Neptune.
(quickly move hand upward over forehead) Psssssssssssh!
Like we said "What are these antennas used for?"
Parting is such sweet sorrow. Pete and Ben say goodbye as the two
families went their separate ways.
We stopped just a few miles west of the VLA in Datil, New Mexico. We
visited the home of Jerry and Judi, great friends that we met in
October 2006. 1) The view from their property. 2) A peek inside the
new home they are building.
Datil is miles from anywhere and their home is miles from Datil. In
this remote location, it makes sense to use alternatives for power,
water and sewage. The power is solar-charged batteries connected to an
inverter to provide A/C. Water will be collected on their metal roof
and stored in an 8,000 gallon tank. Gray water will be used to water
their garden. And the bathroom has a composting toilet. This toilet
does not use water and every six months provides compost for their
garden. They have done an amazing amount of research to accomplish all
And though they are extremely busy, Judi and Jerry took time out to
prepare a fabulous feast for our visit.
1) Sunset at JJ Ranch. 2) We sat and enjoyed the fire and shared
stories of our adventures over the last two years. Their current home
is the 5th wheel seen through the windows above. The motorhome and
truck that they had when we met them were both destroyed by a flash
flood near Zion National Park. (Best story of the night).
We stayed at the Datil Well Recreation Area Campground and enjoyed the
Due to available, but weak, Verizon connections, we moved on to the USA
RV Park in Gallup, New Mexico. We were treated to some pretty high
winds but beautiful clouds.
Tomorrow we are off to Farmington, New Mexico for a Family Motor Coach
Association (FMCA) rally.
Until next week, love, Pete and Ellen
Photos from Oct 2008