New Mexico (and Arizona) for CCSC-RM 2018 - October 11-15, 2018

This trip was to present a paper at the CCSC Rocky Mountain 2018 conference at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Nearly all of the pictures were taken with my Fujifilm Finepix HS50 camera, with just a few mixed in from my iPad Pro. Pictures are linked from within the trip report below.

Thursday, October 11 - Amsterdam, New York, to Socorro, New Mexico, via Albany, Baltimore, and Albuquerque

As air travel to the west often does, this day started with an alarm going off to start this long travel day at 3:15 AM EDT/1:15 AM MDT. No problems with the ride to the airport or with the flights. Not much to see from the flights with a lot of clouds, but we did get a nice view of the Sandia Crest coming into Albuquerque. After a busy car rental shuttle and rental desk [Picture], I was on my way to lunch at Cervantes to get my first green chiles of the trip (excellent!). After lunch, I drove around the area, seeing some familiar things from my earlier time in Albuquerque, and hit some roads I wasn't sure I'd traveled, both northwest and east of town [16 Pictures]. After a nice little workout to break up the travel day, it was time to head south to Socorro. I avoided I-25 for part of the ride and got in around 7:00 MDT [13 Pictures]. Dinner came from Blake's Lotaburger near the hotel. With this writing at about 9:00 MDT, this 20-hour day is coming to a close.

Friday, October 12 - CCSC Rocky Mountain, Socorro, New Mexico

The morning [Picture] was free for me to get a bunch of class work done, then to take a little drive through town continuing down through the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge [33 Pictures]. Back in Socorro, I made a stop to get up close to the Rio Grande at Otero Park [13 Pictures]. That left plenty of time for a decent lunch at the El Camino Family Restaurant [Picture] before going up to New Mexico Tech [6 Pictures] for the start of the conference at 1. The conference day ended with dinner at the Bodega Burger Co., where the food was pretty good, but the conversation was excellent.

Saturday, October 13 - CCSC Rocky Mountain in Socorro then the VLA and on to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

The second day of the conference at New Mexico Tech had two main sessions. I took a walk during the break to see their display of petrified logs [10 Pictures]. My talk was in the second session. After the box lunch with some of the people at the conference, it was a ride up to see the Very Large Array radio telescope just past Magdalena [Pictures]. On the way up, I stopped to walk around Box Canyon [11 Pictures] a bit, and took a side trip to drive a piece of New Mexico 169, and was still in plenty of time to meet our group at 2:30 for the walking tour of the VLA [22 Pictures]. After that visit, I decided to take New Mexico 52, including its 40+ miles of gravel highway plus a couple gravel road side trips, down to Truth or Consequences for the night [42 Pictures]. After checking into the hotel, I walked across the street to Johnny B's restaurant for another green chile meal.

Sunday, October 14 - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to Gallup, New Mexico, The Long Way

This was my day to do some exploring, and it meant lots of driving, mostly in places I'd never been. I got off to an early start from the hotel. I started with a ride to Elephant Butte Dam and then drove around some of downtown Truth or Consequences [20 Pictures]. From there, it was south on I-25, with a short side loop between Radium Springs and Dona Ana [17 Pictures]. At Las Cruces, I picked up I-10, and completed my last gap in New Mexico's interstate highways when I exited at Deming [12 Pictures]. I explored the Deming area a bit [19 Pictures], then got onto US 180 for much of the rest of the day. I got lunch from the Fry House in Silver City, and checked out the historic downtown there some also [9 Pictures]. After lunch the scenic but fairly slow ride on US 180 took a few hours [30 Pictures]. Once in Arizona [45 Pictures], I picked up US 191 and took that up to I-40, with a bit of a downpour on the northern part of that ride. After a gas stop in Sanders, it was on to I-40 most of the way to Gallup. I took Historic US 66 all the way through town, with a little side trip getting dinner from Blake's Lotaburger on the way. I checked into the Sleep Inn around 7:30, 510 miles later [14 Pictures].

Monday, October 15 - Gallup, New Mexico, to Amsterdam, New York, via Albuquerue, Chicago, and Albany

I had much of the day to get from Gallup to Albuquerque for my late afternoon flight. I was able to take a good number of smaller roads, not just I-40, east out of Gallup. Some of those plans were cut a bit short by an early-season snowfall. It caused no problems on I-40, but it kept me from exploring too far off the highway, especially in places where the roads might lead off to higher elevations [33 Pictures]. I got back to Albuquerque in time for a midday workout and for a nice lunch from El Pinto [Picture]. After that, I drove around some more of Albuquerque, hitting a grocery store for some green chiles to take home, and then made my way to the airport. No troubles on the flights ABQ to MDW and then on to Albany for a late night arrival. - Wed Dec 26 16:29:41 EST 2018