National Solar Observatory

Sunday started with unhooking from the RV campground in Socorro, NM and driving around 3 hrs or so to the National Solar Observatory at the top of a mountain near Cloudcroft, NM.

I drove down past the Trinity Site turnoff and passed a little rock shop in the middle of nowhere, I think it was mile marker 30 or so…anyway it had signs that it sold trinitite…made a note to stop there on the way back Tues or Wed. –Passed the Valley of Fire Recreation Area where I plan to stop for Tuesday night and then got to Corrozizzo and hung a right down the eastern side (more or less) of White Sands.  I didn’t stop to see the Petroglyphs, that will have to be another trip.

Anyway, the road from Alamagordo to Cloudcroft was an experience.  Not horrible and thankfully they kept the speed limit low so I didn’t feel as if I was holding everyone up.  It was a 4000 ft climb in 16 miles, full of s-curves and switchbacks.  Lovely, but couldn’t really enjoy and drive at the same time.  Darn!  LOL  I missed the turn off to the NSO and ended up driving through downtown Cloudcroft, where apparently they were celebrating Octoberfest so it was packed bumper to bumper.  I would have liked to stop myself to see what was what, but there was no where I could park the RV.  Oh well, maybe next trip.  I picked up my trusty Moto Droid and spoke into the navagation app “National Solar Observatory New Mexico” and wonder of wonders it told me exactly how to get there!  Yay for tech!  So turned around and got to the winding road up to Sunspot.  Stopped at the first roadside stop.

Overlook on the way up the mountain to the NSO

Apparently that little strip of white you see in the picture here is White Sands.  Cool.  I have more pics I took here but I think I’ll just give the url to the google album at the end so you can see them all.  I’ll just post the most interesting here.

Carrying my House with me…

After this little stop I drove straight to the top….slowly though, following the speed limit signs and moving over if I noticed I was followed by those who preferred NOT to follow the speed limits. LOL That didn’t happen too often though. It was nice and quiet.

Solar System Scale Model Sign

I really loved the solar system scale model signs I saw all along the drive though. That was great. I wondered how many people clued into that on the drive up…they explained it at the top, but I was psyched that I knew what it was before hand. Ok, gotta be happy for the small stuff. Don’t judge. LOL

At the top, it was nice and cool, but not too cool.  Just beautiful for a stroll on their self guided walking tour.  I stopped to take a few pics of the fancy, awesome sundial that is accurate down to the minute.  Went into the visitor’s center and decided to do the museum after hiking a bit.  I’m not a huge museum person.  I endure them if I think they might have something to teach me or if I have to through peer pressure.  LOL  I’m weak.

Solar Timepiece, aka Sundial

Check out the link below for all the pictures from that visit.

Google Album

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