My new life - retired and full time!

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by pudge, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. BillyMc

    BillyMc Active Member

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    I struggle to fine a use for anything to do with golf! I must admit the it's an effective sedative if I put it on TV and lay on the couch.[:D] Next time you travelling through SC give me a heads up.
     
  2. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Museum of Nuclear Science and History

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    When in Albuquerque, NM if you are in the neighborhood of the Eubank gate you will notice the Museum of Nuclear Science and History. For me it was hard to miss, the word ‘Nuclear” is an attention getter for me! The museum is well laid out and everything is explained in simple to understand language. There are also plenty of docents available and eager to help. What I found really interesting is that the Museum (formerly named National Atomic Museum) is a national repository of nuclear science information. "The mission of the National Atomic Museum is to serve as America's resource for nuclear history and science. The Museum presents exhibits and quality educational programs that convey the diversity of individuals and events that shape the historical and technical context of the nuclear age." I found that most of the displays deal with the Manhattan Project and nuclear weapons. A little disappointing for me since I am a product of the Admiral Rickover years with the naval nuclear propulsion program. There was a little exhibit for this material and they do have the full sail from the James K. Polk in the courtyard.
    In 1969, the Museum was on the grounds of Kirtland Air Force Base in an old 90mm anti-aircraft gun repair facility, and named "Sandia Atomic Museum". It was the result of a six-year effort to establish a museum to tell the story of the base and the development of nuclear weapons, and was staffed by United States Air Force (USAF) personnel with help from Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). In 1973, the Museum name changed to "National Atomic Museum", but it did not yet have a national charter. In 1985, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) became responsible for the Museum, and the staff became DOE employees. In 1991 the Museum received its charter as a national museum and its mission expanded to include aspects of nuclear science and history beyond the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. The Museum also became affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. In 1992 the National Atomic Museum Foundation (NAMF) was created to act as a supporting organization for the Museum and reduce the financial burden on taxpayers. DOE transferred Museum operation to SNL in 1995, and Museum staff became SNL employees.
    After the terror attacks in September 2001, increased security restricted public access to the Museum's on-base site and forced relocation to a former REI store in Old Town Albuquerque's museum district. In 2005, SNL transferred operational responsibility to NAMF. SNL employees working as museum staff moved to other positions within Sandia. The Museum hired new staff who became employees of NAMF.
    When the Museum relocated to Albuquerque's museum district, the site had inadequate space for outdoor exhibits. In January 2005, NAMF asked DOE/NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) for 12 acres of land at the intersection of Eubank and Southern Boulevards in southeast Albuquerque for construction of a new museum. The new Museum opened on April 4, 2009 in its new location under the new name National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.
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    Exhibits at the museum include:

    Pioneers of the Atom— An interactive display that introduces the individuals who questioned and defined the matter which makes up the universe. This display includes an interactive kiosk to trace the study of the atom.

    World War II—A display that teaches the history leading up to the creation and use of the atomic bomb and the countries that became involved.

    Secrets, Lies & Atomic Spies— You experience the world of espionage, as secrets and spies infiltrated New Mexico during WWII and the Cold War.


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    The Decision to Drop— The dawn of the Atomic Age began with the design and testing of the world’s first atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project. You get a view of the daily lives of the scientists who lived at Los Alamos and journey with them to the Trinity site where the first explosion occurred in 1945. The Decision to Drop exhibit works very hard to provide an objective view of the subject. It includes a contentious Edward Teller statement advocating a high-altitude night-time demonstration detonation over Tokyo to precipitate Japanese surrender, text of statements by Japanese politicians and military leaders, a copy of the petition protesting use without warning submitted by nuclear physicist Leó Szilárd, and photographs from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The display also features video footage of the reminiscences of Col. Paul Tibbets (pilot of the Enola Gay), and coverage of the emotion the surrender of Japan produced in the United States.

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    Cold War— An examination of the strategic conflict between the United States and the USSR in the second half of the 20th Century, through US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands and at the Nevada Test Site, Soviet nuclear development, the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and leading to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. This also includes the Palomares exhibition, an extensive accounting of the January 17, 1966 mid-air collision between two USAF aircraft (a B-52 bomber and a KC-135 tanker) over Palomares, Almería resulting in radioactive contamination following the accidental dropping of four hydrogen bombs.

    Heritage Park—An outdoor exhibit is complete with planes, rockets, missiles, cannons, and a nuclear submarine sail.

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    Nuclear Medicine— A display of early and modern medical equipment using principles of nuclear physics.

    Little Al's Lab— An area presided over by an animatronic version of Albert Einstein, provides hands-on, family-friendly science activities for children.

    Energy Encounter — A series of displays focusing on civilian use of nuclear power

    Radiation 101— A display of everyday items and activities that expose people to ionizing radiation.

    Atomic Pop Culture— Every visitor will be entertained while viewing how American popular culture reflected the dawning of the Atomic Age. This includes vintage movie memorabilia, comic books, accessories and more.

    Nuclear Waste Transportation— The TruPact II container is on display in this exhibit - a type of transportation container used by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to transport transuranic waste.

    Uranium Cycle— An exhibit where you learn about the steps in the process required to change uranium into a usable form for nuclear power plants or weapons as well as options for disposal and recycling.

    Nano—An interactive exhibition where you can imagine and discover a world you can’t see, and learn about big ideas that come from the small world of nanoscience.

    Like I said this museum will entertain everyone – from the Big Bang Theory level science fan to those studying nuclear science. All the exhibits are plain English and there is more information available for those versed in the trade! I was very impressed with Decision to Drop exhibit since it really seemed to cover how complicated the decision was along with the controversy that came along with the decision process. Did I mention they have a submarine sail – only three numbers off from my last boat! How’s that for old! The cost is $12 for adults with a discount (of varying degree) for just about anything you can think of! I would plan a half-day, more if the weather is nice and someone in your party likes planes or missiles as the outdoor displays will keep them occupied.
     
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  3. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    I try to make an extra effort on the military related posts. While I can get together with friends and swap stories and laugh - when I write my posts I try to remember that military work is serious business. It is dangerous work even in peacetime. Lori and I just stayed at Gila Bend Auxiliary Air Force Base on the Goldwater live bombing range. Just a small mistake by a pilot at 10,000 feet means the bomb misses by hundreds of yards and from our view point we could see the impact plumes and occasionally feel the earth shake.
     
  4. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Hot Air Balloon Museum

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    If you have followed the blog for a bit you know that I am an airplane nut. I can sit there and watch them all day and an air show is tops. Lori’s love of flight is more limited to hot air balloons, not that she would every fly in one, though we have taken a tethered ride. This shared love of lighter than air flight has caused two things to be on our bucket lists. One (and the biggie) is the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and the other is the Lake Havasu Balloon Festival in Arizona.
    So while we were visiting a childhood friend (yes I had both!) who lives near Albuquerque we had to checkout where the balloon festival was held – sort of advanced scouting for our winter 2020 tour. Once we found the balloon field we stumbled into the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. This turned out to be way more interesting than I planned on! The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is a museum dedicated to the worldwide history, science, and art of all types of ballooning and lighter-than-air flight. It is situated just outside the grounds used for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world's largest yearly balloon fiesta, and is named for Ben Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson, two Albuquerque natives who established several ballooning firsts, such as crossing oceans and continents. Opened on October 1, 2005, it is owned by the city of Albuquerque and is a collaborative project of the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation and the City of Albuquerque's Cultural Services Division. It is a 59,000-square-foot facility with class rooms, conference rooms, and many exhibits on the history of ballooning, including items from famous balloonists such as Ed Yost, Joseph Kittinger, and Ben Abruzzo.
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    Exhibits in the museum include:
    Arctic Air which tells the dramatic story of a first-ever attempt to reach the North Pole by balloon. The 1897 expedition used the best and most innovative technology of the time, and was intended to achieve the goal eluded by all other expeditions. Journals of the three crew members, as well as photographs taken on the journey, tell a detailed story of this all-but-forgotten chapter of the Age of Exploration.
    Inside The Weather Lab, museum you will encounter the sun, wind, clouds, precipitation and storms. Along the way, you will learn about the inextricable relationship between weather and humanity, and efforts through technology to better understand and forecast weather conditions. The immersive and interactive exhibition includes weather pods, artifacts, interactive touchscreens, videos, images, and text panels presented within a one-of-a-kind space, created solely for the Balloon Museum by the University of New Mexico's School of Architecture and Planning. The Weather Lab also highlights two weather conditions that are important to Albuquerque, but for very different reasons: The famous "Albuquerque Box" and fire weather. Pay attention in this exhibit – the information will come in handy later!
    As you would expect there is an exhibit documenting the timeline of lighter than air flight. There is also an extensive exhibit of Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking skydive from a lighter than air balloon.
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    For fans of experiential film viewing, Tim Anderson 4-D Theater will engage audiences in visual, aural, and physical sensations as they watch ballooning and other flight and science-related short films. Admission to theater screenings is included with entry to the museum (except as otherwise promoted for a special event)
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    Just outside the 4-D theater is a balloon flight simulator. You are tasked to takeoff and then land on a designated target. I hope you paid attention to the weather exhibit – that information will come in handy here. I got to try it three times during my visit and hit 97 for a high score (82 for a low). I could have hung out in this thing all day!!!!!
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    Admission is $6 with $2 off on the standard deductions. Also there is free admission Sundays from 9 AM - 1 PM and the first Friday of the month (except for October).
     
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  5. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Petroglyph National Park

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    If you are looking for a hike to test your lung capacity when in Albuquerque (Alt ~5300 ft) I recommend Petroglyph National Monument. A key point when visiting this park is that none of the trails are accessible from the visitor center, so stop in and get the information you need and then hop back in the vehicle for a short trip to a trailhead. Petroglyph National Monument consists of three different trail systems that stretch a total of 17 miles along Albuquerque's West Mesa, a volcanic basalt escarpment that dominates the city's western horizon. Authorized June 27, 1990, the 7,236 acre monument is cooperatively managed by the National Park Service and the City of Albuquerque. The western boundary of the monument features a chain of dormant fissure volcanoes. Beginning in the northwest corner, Butte volcano is followed to its south by Bond, Vulcan, Black and JA volcanoes.
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    Why does the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division co-manage Petroglyph National Monument with the National Park Service? This federal-local government arrangement is almost unique in the 417 unit National Park Service. The answers are rooted, as they often are, in history, community, and politics.
    Albuquerque's citizens have enjoyed their wide open spaces for many years. A wonderful 1893 photograph of a man and his infant daughter shows a horse carriage in the background at the Mesa Prieta area of the Monument. Some activities weren't so pastoral—N.M. Volcano “Erupts” But Fools No One—a 1950 newspaper headline declared. Nobody was fooled, apparently, because the same prank—piling tires on the side of a volcano and setting them on fire to simulate an eruption—had been tried in 1947 with much greater success (even causing a panic in the city). For years students from nearby St Joseph would paint a "J" on Vulcan Volcano, when the light is right it can still be seen.
    The Petroglyph National Monument enabling legislation recognized both the imminent threats to the petroglyphs as well as the key role of citizens and the City of Albuquerque. Without state and local government ownership of more than 3,500 acres—over 1/2 of the Monument—would not have happened so quickly, if at all. Due to the role of the City's Open Space Division in acquiring land and managing it for several decades, Congress envisioned a cooperative partnership with the National Park Service well into the future.
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    The National Park Service conducts interpretive and educational programs and natural and cultural research, patrols all monument lands, operates the Las Imágenes Visitor Center and constructs and maintains facilities in the Atrisco Unit. The City of Albuquerque manages both the Boca Negra Unit and Piedras Marcadas Units and also conducts interpretive programs and law enforcement patrols. The City has a visitor center adjacent to the Piedras Marcadas Pueblo.
    Located in the fastest growing area of Albuquerque, the monument is surrounded on the east and north by residential development. Expansive plans for additional residential development to the south have been approved. Once on the very edge of the city, residential lots adjacent to Petroglyph National Monument now command higher prices, with views being protected in perpetuity. Monument neighbors appreciate having a National Park in their own backyard. The City enforces design guidelines for properties adjacent to the volcanic escarpment.
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    Petroglyph National Monument protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including five volcanic cones, hundreds of archeological sites and an estimated 24,000 images carved by Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers. Many of the images are recognizable as animals, people, brands and crosses; others are more complex. Their meaning was, possibly, understood only by the carver. These images are the cultural heritage of a people who have long since moved into other areas and moved on through history for many reasons. The monument is intended as a protection for these lands and sites from and for visitors to see and appreciate for generations to come. The National Monument is managed in a manner that allows recreational use. The monument has four major sites that visitors can access, Boca Negra Canyon, Rinconada Canyon, Piedras Marcadas Canyon, and the Volcano Day Use trails.
    Many of the petroglyph images contained within the monument hold a deep, cultural significance to many native peoples. Depending on their context, the interpretations of these stone relics can hold vastly complex and varying meaning. Sometimes, it is not always appropriate to interpret the significance or meaning of these images. Some archaeologists can date the carvings as far back as 3000 years ago, found primarily in the Boca Negra Canyon area. The relative age is determined based on the darkness of the image, its context, and its comparison to other works of native relics of the same age.
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    It is estimated that about 90 percent of the petroglyphs were created during the period between AD 1300 until the end of the 1600s because of the "Southwestern Style" used. At this time, the Native population was increasing quickly and pueblo adobe villages were being built along the Rio Grande River and at the base of the Sandia Mountains.
    OK, enough for the history lesson! Let’s get to the hiking. The three trails are:
    Boca Negra Canyon is located off Unser Blvd. NW, approximately one-quarter mile north of Montano Road. This path is operated and staffed by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division, this trail system offers the opportunity to view about 100 petroglyphs along three paved trails that are guided by signs. Restroom facilities, a drinking fountain, picnic tables and shaded seating areas are available. The City of Albuquerque charges a nominal parking fee of $1 Monday-Friday or $2 on Saturday & Sunday. Parking fees are per vehicle. The path is open daily 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, last entry at 4:00 PM daily is strictly enforced
    Rinconada Canyon is located off Unser Blvd. NW at the St. Joseph Ave. intersection, approximately 2 miles north of I-40. This is the longest petroglyph viewing trail system in the monument, this moderate undeveloped trail is 2.2 miles round-trip. Water is not available. Vault restroom facility is available at the trail head. See approximately 300 petroglyphs in 1.5-2 hours. Leashed pets allowed. Parking lot is open 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. A free trail guide is available at the visitor center. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that this trails parking lot has had numerous vehicle break ins so lock your rig and set your alarm!
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    The favorite for Lori and I is Piedras Marcadas Canyon, located off Golf Course Road at Jill Patricia Street. The parking lot is behind the Valvoline Motor Oil Change station. This path in the north-eastern tip of the monument, this moderate undeveloped trail system is 1.5 miles round-trip. Water is not available. No restroom facilities. No shade. See approximately 300-500 petroglyphs in 1.5 hours. The trail is Open daily from sunrise to sunset and leashed pets are allowed. A free trail guide is available at the visitor center.
    There is also the Volcanoes Day Use Area. Located on the western edge of the monument, this trail system offers scenic miles of hiking around the volcanic cinder cones. Although the area is void of petroglyphs, you'll enjoy the clear views of the Rio Grande valley and the Sandia Mountains from the scenic overlook. Trails vary in length from 1 mile to 4 miles round-trip. Water is not available. A vault restroom facility is available. Leashed pets are allowed. The parking lot is located off Atrisco Vista Blvd. NW, approximately 4.8 miles north of Interstate 40. The parking lot is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. The day use area is located off Atrisco Vista Blvd., approximately 4.8 miles north of I-40.
     
  6. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Albuquerque Museum of Natural History

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    Lori and I hit the Albuquerque Museum of Natural History twice. The first time was with a childhood friend who now lives in Rio Rancho and his grandson. The second time it was just us and we did more of the boring adult stuff. The museum is in the Old Town area of the city so plan carefully since the Old Town historic district is a fascinating place all by itself. There are several museums in this area so plan on spending three or four days just in Old Town. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science was founded in 1986. It operates as a public revenue facility of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The exterior of the museum features "A Walk Through New Mexico," a landscape representation of the topographical and geologic features of New Mexico. The first thing to great you to the Museum are two life-size New Mexico dinosaurs created by Albuquerque sculptor Dave Thomas. This is a pretty impressive welcome from a relatively young museum.
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    The Museum's permanent exhibit halls illustrate a journey through time, covering the birth of the Universe (≈13.6 billion years ago) to the Ice Age (≈10,000 years ago). The “journey through time halls” are as follows:
    Origins - How and why did life on Earth emerge? New research taking place around the globe-including here in New Mexico-suggests we are close to answering this question.
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    The Bisti Beast - Western North America is famous for its dinosaur fossils. Many of these come from the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. Most of these specimens were collected in the early part of the 20th century and the resulting specimens were shipped to Museums far from New Mexico. However, since the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science opened in 1986, newly discovered specimens have been found and kept within the state.
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    T. Rex Attack! - You find yourself face to face with the gaping maw of the second largest T. rex ever found, in full attack mode, as they round the corner of the Museum Atrium. Stan is a Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the largest predatory dinosaurs of all time. He was a powerful, agile, bipedal killing machine. Forty feet long and 12 feet high at the hips, Stan weighed roughly 6 tons and hunted with an acute sense of smell, 3-D vision, and great speed powered by huge and muscular hind legs.
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    The Hall of the Stars – This exhibit is a Winner of the 2014 Gold MUSE Award for Interpretive Interactive Installations. The Hall of the Stars aims to explain how the night sky is organized. Though the project had some effort from museum employees, it was almost entirely accomplished by museum volunteers and members the professional astronomical community. This exhibit encourages you to explore the sky at their own pace and learn many different astronomical concepts, from the changing of the seasons to types of deep sky objects that you can see from your own backyard.
    The Fossilworks exhibit shows people (mostly trained volunteers!) removing material from fossilized dinosaur bones. The museum also houses a "Naturalist Center" that is home to live animals and insects, and there is also a geologic exhibit on the minerals of the region.
    While I may be the exception because I go to these museums for the astronomy and space exhibits; I would venture that most go to natural history museums for the dinosaurs. This museum will not disappoint you. The Jurassic Super Giants exhibit features the complete skeletons of Seismosaurus, Saurophaganax, Stegosaurus, and one leg of a Brachiosaurus. In the museum's atrium is the skeleton of Stan, a Tyrannosaurus rex measuring forty feet in length and twelve feet in height, the second largest T. rex ever found.
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    Bronze statues of two dinosaurs created by artist David A. Thomas, a Pentaceratops named "Spike" and an Albertosaurus named "Alberta", stand at the entrance. Spike and Alberta were installed at the museum in the mid-1980's, with Spike being put in place in 1985 and Alberta joining a few years later in 1987. Many dinosaur fossils have been found in New Mexico, and a few of the ones on display in the museum are only known from New Mexico.
    The Museum also houses changing exhibits, the Hope Cafe, NatureWorks Discovery Store, as well as the Dynatheater, which is a 3-D theater similar to IMAX. The films shown are typically documentary style, focusing on a broad range of subjects.
     
  7. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Albuquerque Bio Park (Aquarium / Botanical Garden)
    The Albuquerque Biological Park, aka the bio park, consists of three distinct attractions; a zoo, an aquarium, and a botanical garden (a small park is also considered part of the Bio Park). The aquarium and botanical garden are co-located and one fee ($14.50 and discounts available) allows access to both. The zoo is about two miles away but there is a small train that runs through the bio park making all attractions available from one parking lot. Getting a combo ticket to all attractions becomes attractive once you see the train but we recommend you see the zoo with a separate visit or you will end up rushing even if you get an early start since all parks close at 4:30. If you have time after the aquarium and zoo we recommend a short visit to Tingley park which is also part of the bio park.
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    Typically I would write about the aquarium and the botanical garden separately since they are both sizeable attractions. However, since they go on one admission ticket and are visited together I’m putting them in one blog entry. This may make the blog a little long and together to get through. Let me know what you think. This will probably be a rare occurrence since we have not found many attractions stacked together in this fashion. Though we wonder why?
    Since we entered the aquarium first let’s go through that first.
    The Albuquerque Aquarium opened in 1996. The aquarium was built as a themed attraction, with visitors starting at a fountain that depicts the headwaters of the Rio Grande and ending at a 285,000-U.S.-gallon shark tank with a 38-foot wide, 9-foot-high, 8-inch-thick acrylic viewing window. Jellies: Aliens of the Sea, featuring moon jellies and Japanese sea nettles, and the Pacific Coral Reef Tunnel are also popular with aquarium visitors. The South Pacific Gallery features seahorses, pipefishes, and colorfully patterned reef fish. The Rio Grande at Central Bridge exhibit in the aquarium lobby offers visitors an opportunity to compare the kinds of fish that lived in the Albuquerque reach of the Rio Grande 100 years ago and those found today. The Shark/Ray Encounter allows guests to have a guided, up-close experience with bamboo sharks and stingrays. The Albuquerque Biological Park is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
    After entering the museum, visitors first view freshwater tanks that display fish from the Rio Grande, both currently found and those no longer found in the river today. Adjacent is a small movie theater displaying informational films on aquatic life. Following this is a Gulf of Mexico Coast Gallery, which contains several exhibits depicting the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, with fish and bird species from this region as well as stingrays, and a Texas Terrapin exhibit, and a retired shrimp fishing boat. A replica of a coral reef displaying such fish as parrotfish, angelfish, grunts, porcupinefish, and triggerfish comes next; followed by a coral reef tunnel exhibiting several types of fish species found in the South Pacific. The next exhibit is a series of small tanks exhibiting "oddities" such as clownfish, seahorses, pipefish, jellyfish, hagfish, cuttlefish, and nautilus. On occasion, there will also be a touch pool tank open that contains stingrays and bamboo shark pups. The final exhibit, a 285,000-U.S.-gallon (1,080,000 l) saltwater tank with a 38-foot viewing window, displays six shark species (sandtiger sharks, sandbar sharks, blacktip sharks, nurse sharks, zebra sharks and tasselled wobbegongs), tarpon, barracudas, stingrays, large schooling fish, moray eels and three species of sea turtles (loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, and hawksbill). Every day divers enter the tank to do daily chores like feeding and cleaning.
    Some of the exhibits have unique items that may attract your attention. I’m going to highlight just those exhibits:
    Iust inside the Aquarium entrance, a 1950 Hudson travels over the Rio Grande at Central Bridge. Weaving together historical and modern elements, the exhibit is a window into the Albuquerque reach of the Rio Grande today and a century ago. The historical tank showcases some of the thirteen species that have vanished from the Rio Grande. Evidence comes from bones found in Pueblo ruins and writings of Spanish explorers and early biologists. Even this historic view is incomplete—the Rio Grande bluntnose shiner and the Phantom shiner are extinct today.
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    In the shark tank you’ll find that eels are shy sea creatures and spend much of their time hiding in the darker spots like a tunnel inside the landform in front of the Shark Reef Café. If you are there at feeding time watch the divers. Eels are ambush predators that can go for extended periods without eating, and may only pop out once or twice a week to grab a bit of mackerel or an occasional bit of herring. To coax the eels out during feeding time, divers tap a pair of tongs on the landform—an audible training technique that lets the eels associate the sound with food. While at the shark tank note that these vicious predators aren’t so vicious—divers swim alongside them every day during their Shark Tank dives at 2 p.m. Also, Divers feed the sharks once a week using a pole with prongs on the end. They feed each shark individually, making sure not to allow two sharks to pursue the same fish. Although some of the sharks try to get more than their fair share, the tank is calm during feedings—they seem to know they'll each get their turn. You may also notice that not all species of shark must move to survive. Bottom feeders like nurse sharks can rest on the sea floor for long periods of time, but species that hunt in the open ocean may need to swim constantly to keep water flowing through their gills
    If you headed here via the Gulf of Mexico like we did you are certainly aware of the large number of oil and gas rigs in the gulf. The Gulf of Mexico has been perforated by thousands of drilling platforms since 1938. Yet offshore rigs may benefit Gulf species by introducing artificial habitats. Barnacles, sponges, algae and corals attach to the giant floating platforms and support legs of oil rigs. These areas attract little fishes that in turn attract larger predators. In an effort to establish these communities, the federal "Rigs to Reefs" program sinks derelict rigs on site rather than hauling them away.
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    A jelly (they are not ‘fish’ they invertebrates…and there are no more starfish, they are now seastars) is mostly water — more than 95 percent. The adult form, called a medusa, has a bell-shaped body. Medusae move about by contracting muscles along the lower edge of the bell and propelling themselves forward. They feed by stunning or paralyzing prey with stinging cells, called nematocysts, located on their feeding tentacles. Once the prey is immobilized, the tentacles move it to the opening of the central cavity for digestion. The single opening in the jelly's body cavity is used for feeding and waste disposal.
    The Aquarium has two female river otters, Chaos and Mayhem. They came from Louisiana, where they were wild otters. They were considered “nuisance otters” because they were stealing shrimp from a shrimp farm, causing stock problems for the owners. Instead of having the otters put down, the Bio Park offered to take them in. The pair arrived at the Bio Park in May 2016 stayed behind the scenes until the grand opening of the North American river otter exhibit in July 2018. Mayhem is the outgoing one. Chaos is a bit shyer. Although the two otters are not related, they share a close bond. You can spot them tumbling around on land and in water as well as cuddling up together during nap time. You may see aquarists working with Chaos and Mayhem on a training regimen that aims to keep the otters enriched and provides opportunities for proactive healthcare.
    If you get to see feedings you will notice that the divers have protective gloves on when feeding stingrays. This is because stingrays “pulse” by pushing water out and bringing food into two rolling plates that rotate like a wheel to crush food!
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    The Albuquerque Aquarium currently runs a facility that focuses in the conservation of fishes found in the Rio Grande. The project includes the Rio Grande silvery minnow breeding program and the Socorro isopod. In January 2008, three blacktip shark pups were born at the Albuquerque Aquarium, making it the first birth of this species of shark ever recorded in captivity.
    A restaurant and a gift shop are also located in the building.
     
  8. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Now off to the Botanical Garden! Like the aquarium the botanical garden opened in 1996. This may be the most family friendly garden you will come across. This is one where the kids have a section of their own. The garden showcases plants of the Southwest and other arid climates, and includes a 10,000-square-foot conservatory, formal themed gardens, and a demonstration garden. One wing of the glass conservatory houses plants native to the Mediterranean climates zones of Spain, Portugal, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, Chile and California. A second wing features xeric plants from North American deserts. Paths behind the conservatory showcase New Mexico Habitats, including desert, grasslands, lava flows and sandhills. Medicinal plants are highlighted in El Jardin de la Curandera. Railroad Hill includes miniature trains and villages (as I’m learning railroad gardens are popular here in the southwest and some cities even offer tours of the areas railroad gardens), and Children's Fantasy Garden is a "garden" of gigantic vegetables and insects . From mid-May through September, the PNM Butterfly Pavilion showcases hundreds of North American butterflies. The Heritage Farm represents farm life along the Rio Grande in the 1920s and 1930s, and Colores offers delights in every season with blossoms, seed pods and interesting foliage. Opened in the fall of 2007, Sasebo Japanese Garden features a 16-foot waterfall that tumbles into a large pond, surrounded by winding paths. Here is more explanation of each of the exhibits:

    Spanish-Moorish Courtyard and Walled Gardens. These outdoor gardens, located just inside the entrance, contain a Spanish-Moorish themed garden displaying aromatic plants such as rosemary, Spanish lavender, fig and pomegranate trees; a small, round garden with a raised bed of cultivated roses called the Jardin Redondo; and the Ceremonial Rose Garden which contains a scenic trellis covered with wisteria and rambling roses.

    Mediterranean Conservatory. This large greenhouse displays a variety of plants native to coastal areas with hot dry summers and mild rainy winters, such as the Mediterranean, the California coast, southwestern Australia, South Africa and coastal Chile. rockroses, bottlebrush trees, olive trees, myrtles, oleanders and numerous mints and sages are displayed here. This conservatory is also the locale for several flower shows, including Winter Fire Colors, Bulbs in Bloom and the Orchid Show. In 2009, an exhibit on arthropods was added as a preview for the future ‘BUGariunm’ .

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    Desert Conservatory. Located next to the Mediterranean Conservatory, this second greenhouse simulates a dry climate and displays a collection of plant life from deserts of the American Southwest, such as saguaro cactus and palo verde trees from the Sonoran Desert, creosote and yucca from the Chihuahuan Desert, and elephant trees from Baja.

    Curandera Garden. This is a traditional herb garden based on the practices of Curanderos, or Spanish folk doctors, who have a long history of herbal medicine in New Mexico. The garden also contains a bas relief sculpture by Diego "Sonny" Rivera depicting a Curandero.

    Camino de Colores. This garden is divided into four area, each themed to one of the four seasons, with plants chosen to represent each season's colors year-round. This garden also contains a water feature in the winter garden, and large rose planters.

    Sasebo Japanese Garden. A classically designed Japanese Garden, containing Japanese architecture and design elements such as the tile-capped garden wall and tile-roofed entry gate, an elevated bell tower, stone lanterns and pagoda sculptures, a ceremonial hand-wash basin, a waterfall, koi pond, an arched-moon bridge, and a viewing deck. The plant palette includes both traditional Japanese and American Southwest plantings. The garden was designed by architect Toru Tanaka, the same architect who created the children's garden.

    Heritage Farm. A re-creation of a 1930s era Albuquerque-area farm, containing a kitchen garden, crops, an orchard, vineyard and berry bushes, as well as replicas of a farmhouse, a barn, and a stables. Demonstrations take place in the farmhouse, and farm animals such as cows, goats, sheep, and horses live at the stables. This garden won the 2007 American Public Gardens Association award for excellence in programming and was invited to place an exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. from May through October 9, 2007.

    PNM Butterfly Pavilion. An indoor butterfly house, open seasonally.. The exhibit features several species of butterflies from North America. Species include monarch butterfly and blue morpho. On one side of the pavilion, visitors can see small displays with dozens of other insects and arachnids and talk with the arthropod experts.

    Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond. In spring, summer and fall, the Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond is buzzing with activity as dragonflies and damselflies fly, hunt and search for mates. The exhibit is the first dragonfly sanctuary pond in the United States. The pond features aquatic habitat perfect for attracting and breeding dragonflies and damselflies. Plants for perching grow around the pond, allowing guests to view and identify several species of dragonflies at once. A stream bubbles into the exhibit from a rocky desert landscape, and a deck overlooks the vibrant scene. A stunning glass mosaic depicting summer insects shimmers on the north wall of the courtyard.

    Cottonwood Gallery. The five-acre Cottonwood Galley is located at the north end of the Botanic Garden. The garden showcases a restored forest with a canopy of mature cottonwood trees and an understory of native trees and bushes. The natural area attracts interesting wildlife, including roadrunners, kestrels, porcupines and great-horned owls. The palette of plantings includes species used by animals for forage and shelter. Wetlands and shaded paths provide quiet places to watch for animals.

    "Garden" Railroad. An outdoor model railroad layout. This is huge and has one small section that is started when you push the button. The rest of the set runs continuously. For me this was as cool as the children’s garden.
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    Children's Fantasy Garden. A 14-foot-high dragon stands at the entrance of the Fantasy Garden that gives visitors a mite's eye perspective on the garden. Giant bugs, gardening tools, and huge pretend vegetables tower over visitors to this garden. A walk-through "pumpkin" 42 feet in diameter and two stories high is the centerpiece of this garden.
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    BUGarium. The new 3,500-square-foot building will feature different insect and other arthropod species from around the world, including Malaysian walking sticks, giant bird eating tarantulas and southwest velvet ants. Some of the exhibits include:A working bee hive, A tropical tree home to leaf cutter ants (I itched after walking under this), aquatic insects that seem to connect to the outside dragonfly sanctuary pond, a nocturnal exhibit allowing viewing under infra-red light of tarantulas, giant katydids and African scorpions, and a cluster of individual bubbles housing the social communities of naked mole rats.
    There is obviously a lot to see at these two attractions. Lori and I arrived a little after 10 am and finished about 3:30 so the zoo was obviously out. It was a good thing we did not purchase the combination ticket.
     
  9. Whopper14

    Whopper14 Member

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    Enjoying the reviews. I would recommend Davis-Monthan AFB and Missile Silo Museum near Tucson.
     
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  10. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    I posted the latest blogs from D-M AFB. Because we hit multiple places in a day the blog lags behind a bit. Plus on the days we travel I usually don't blog. I have an excellent view of the boneyard!
     
  11. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Albuquerque Bio Park (Rio Grande Zoo)

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    As I have previously noted, the Albuquerque BioPark that contains four separate facilities: Two of them (Aquarium and Botanical Garden)are co-located and can be viewed together. A third, the Rio Grande Zoo is about 2 miles away but is accessible by narrow gage train. The train ride between facilities is free with a combo ticket making it a tempting choice. Lori and I recommend against this since you will have to rush to do all three facilities in one day. The forth facility that is considered part of the Bio Park is Tingley Beach. This is mostly a large park with two fishing ponds. This post will only cover the zoo.
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    The Rio Grande Zoo is a zoo, with 2.5 miles of paths and more than 250 species of exotic and native animals. Elephants, giraffes, camels, lions, tigers, snow leopards, polar bears, hippos, gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, and seals can be found here, along with more unusual animals such as koalas, hyenas, white rhinos, Tasmanian devils, wombats and African wild dogs. There is a variety of birds, from storks and eagles to roadrunners. Make sure you grab a map because the park is set up in loops and it would be easy to bypass a large portion of the displays.
    This 64-acrefacility was founded in 1927, as the Rio Grande Zoo. With the creation of the Bio Park the zoo is now called ABQ BioPark Zoo. Some of the most popular of the over 200 species are seals and sea lions, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, polar bears, giraffes, hippos, camels, tamarins, koalas, Mexican wolves, cougars, monkeys, jaguars, zebras, and rhinos. Sections of the zoo include an Africa exhibit area, an Australia exhibit area, the "Cat Walk" and herpetology area. An endangered species carousel was added in 2016. A narrow-gauge railroad connects the zoo to the other facilities of the Albuquerque Biological Park. Walking distance through the zoo is 2.27 miles . The Albuquerque Biological Park is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
    The Rio Grande Zoo exhibit displays animals that pertain to various geographical areas in the same loop. The zoo is divided into continents. The continents displayed are; Africa, Australia/Oceania, Asia, Arctic, North America, and South and Central America
    Specific exhibits include:
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    Flamingo Crossing - An island located at the beginning of the zoo that holds the zoo's flock of Caribbean flamingos.
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    The Reptile House - Remodeled in 2012 to include taipans, death adders, Chinese alligator, and alligator snapping turtle. With the renovations the building houses mostly reptiles. The exhibit also houses many species of cobras, rattle snakes, and lizards. There are two large areas where the zoo's Komodo dragons are held. In a building located near the Reptile House the zoo's temporary home for a large adult salt water crocodile and for Slender-snouted crocodile. On the outside of the Reptile House is the new Gator Swamp Exhibit, which is a large outdoor heated pool housing several adult American alligators. The reptile house received more renovations in 2017 to improve digital interpretive signage and interactive displays and houses many varieties of snakes and turtles.
    Phoenix Plaza – This is a Snackbar and is seasonal. There is a nearby curve array of exhibits mostly housing birds.
    Raptors – This display has several large exhibits that hold the zoo's bald eagles, golden eagles, ferruginous hawk, Caracaras and Andean condors as well as other birds.
    Mexican Wolf Exhibit - This exhibit holds the zoo's pack of Mexican wolves, the most endangered species of wolf in the United States.
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    Inukshuk Bay – This display offers many views of the polar bear. One can see them through underwater viewing windows or walk to the top of the exhibit and watch the bears lounge, feed, and slide down the waterfall.
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    The Cat Walk – This exhibit consists of grottos that hold African lions, cougars, snow leopards, jaguars, a Malayan tiger, ocelots, and red kangaroos. Smaller exhibits hold great horned owls, Fossa, African crested porcupine, bobcat, serval and meerkats. The Jaguars received a second large yard with pool and natural foliage in 2017. The zoo's two Jaguars will rotate between the two yards.
    Amphibians: Life on a Limb - With the renovation of the Reptile House in 2012, the zoo opened up Amphibians: Life on a Limb, replacing the original Gator Swamp, where the zoo used to hold its juvenile alligators. The building houses poison dart frogs, hellbenders, and caecilians as well as other amphibians. The zoo also houses the only captive population of locust coquis, critically endangered frogs from Puerto Rico.
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    Asia – As you would expect, this exhibit contains several elephant yards and two barns for the zoo's Asian elephants. The exhibit now holds six Asian elephants in its herd, two males and four females. Rozana, also called Rozie, was born in the Bio Park Zoo on November 8, 1992. On Sept. 2, 2009, Rozie gave birth to female elephant Daizy. Rozie gave birth to her second calf, Jazmine, on October 2, 2013. The virus, elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus claimed Daizy's life on May 9, 2015. Rosie is expecting her third offspring in 2018. There is also an exhibit housing Bactrian camels nearby.
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    Seals and Sea Lions Exhibit – This is a large exhibit with underwater viewing tank that houses sea lions, gray seals, and harbor seals.
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    Australia/Koala Creek – This area holds koalas, Matschie's tree kangaroos, and a walk-through budgerigars aviary. Exhibits for tawny frogmouth and Sulphur-crested cockatoo are found nearby. This area also is home to the zoo's Tasmanian devils. There are only a few zoos in the US that house these animals. The zoo also has on exhibit the only Tasmanian wombats in the United States. A seasonal Lorikeet feeding station is found inside the Lorikeet exhibit that houses Rainbow Lorikeets, Red Lory, and Chattering Lory. A new emu yard was added in the location of the old Ankole yard.
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    Africa – This exhibit contains six acres of land holding 17 separate exhibits and 23 species of mammals and birds. Mammals include chimpanzees, warthogs, red river hogs, cheetahs, Hartmann's mountain zebras, white rhinoceroses, hippopotami, klipspringer, De Brazza's monkey, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Birds include including marabou storks, Cape griffon vultures, lappet-faced vultures, wattled cranes, common ravens, hammerkops and saddle-billed storks.
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    Apes - Holds the zoo's gorillas, orangutans, and siamangs. A Gorilla Bacholors Pad is found near the Nightwatch as well. The siamangs welcomed a new addition on April 5, 2017 - a new baby named Eerie.
    Fowl Play – Is an aviary exhibit which includes hyacinth macaw, sun conures, burrowing owl, and roadrunners.
    As you can see from the many animals and exhibits this is a stop worthy of its own stop. Make sure when you are here to constantly refer to the map to ensure you see it all.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    This place sounds really cool. I'd love to visit!
     
  13. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Pueblo Montano Open Space

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    There are many days when we just need a quick getaway, just something to amuse us for an hour or two until we need to be somewhere else. When in Albuquerque, NM the Pueblo Montano Open Space is exactly that. This area of Albuquerque suffered an accidental fire n 2003. The fire burned approximately 100 acres of bosque (pronounced boss-K and means forest) at this site. Firefighter Mark Chavez helped fight the blaze and then brought new life to the devastated cottonwoods in the form of sculpture.
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    Over ten trees were transformed into images depicting local wildlife, characters from local folklore and other themes. One piece is a tribute to the firefighters who conquered the fire, symbolically represented by a defeated dragon. The name Pueblo Montaño honors the ancient pueblo village known to have existed here from about AD 1300 to mid-1400. The sculptures at this park are incredibly well done and the picnic area is well maintained with public restrooms available. Did you forget to bring something to do while you are sitting there enjoying the mile-high air?
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    Don’t worry there is a small free-library exchange box on site where you can borrow a book and just relax and watch the equestrians trail riding in the background. Looking for something a little more strenuous or just looking to fill the day? Pueblo Montano is right on an extensive trail system so you can go for a hike or break out your mountain bike and head off on an adventure. Pueblo Montano has dedicated ADA and equestrian parking areas and plenty of interpretive educational signage.

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  14. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Valentines Day

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    Lori and I have been camping pretty much since we met. We started out with a tent. Back when I was a kid we would camp under the stars or in lean-to’s – going with the scouts in tents was a luxury! I was very resistant to moving to a camper. It seemed fate that about the time my back was giving out and sleeping on the ground – well at least getting up off the ground – was becoming an effort, that a friend of ours was selling her seldom used Coleman Seapine. By seldom used I mean that this thing had been slept in only three times, once on a trip to Maine and twice in her driveway. I loved that Seapine! Sleeping off of the ground was a blessing for my back and because it had heat we would camp year round in Connecticut. Winter camping in the Seapine was heaven! For the most part we had the campground to our selves The Seapine had a chemical toilet but we always left it behind and used its cabinet for other storage. We had that Seapine for 12 seasons before we moved up to a Coleman (yes the label reappeared!) Niagara. This thing was heavy and pushed the limits of my V-6 RAM 1500. The Niagara was everything we needed. Being a popup it compacted and hid behind the Ram. It towed straight as an arrow and when it was set up it had EVERYTHING – a full latrine (20 gal black water tank) an oven, a microwave (that we used twice). It was a palace that we towed behind us! That Niagara served us well for another 8 seasons! I told you that story to be able to tell this. While we were stretching seasons in popups we had been planning for the day we would retire. The popup life style allowed us to ‘RV’ very inexpensively so we could take some of our hard earned money and invest for our future. I REALLY miss the Niagara. There is nothing like sleeping with canvas. However, our goal was to full-time and when you do that you need to be able to access a latrine on the road and have a kitchen where you can make lunch. While we have not had to do it yet, the capability of over-nighting at a Walmart or rest area needs to be practical. For all these reasons the Niagara had to go. We have been travelling in our 26’ Flagstaff for seven months now and have not looked back. I have been very fortunate to spend almost thirty years sharing a vision with my best friend . We worked hard and sacrificed along the way and now we are living our dream – and apparently the dream of many others. I hope you all are enjoying the blog. Give your significant other a nice hug and thank them for sharing your journey in live. Happy Camping! Spring is coming!!!
     
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  15. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Unser Racing Museum

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    When most people think of the Unser name they think of the Indy / CART racing series. Me, I think of Pikes Peak. Races like Pike’s Peak and IMSA usually have multiple classes running on the same day, of not running together on the track. From my perspective you get more variety at these types of races. When in Albuquerque the Unser Racing Museum will not disappoint you! When you first arrive you are given an interesting briefing on the history and layout of the museum. If you are not familiar with the Unser name when you walk in the briefer will catch you up very quickly on the accomplishments of New Mexico’s native racing family. The museum celebrates multiple generations of Unsers, from patriarch Jerry Unser, to Al Unser III and Mariana Unser as well..
    The Unser Racing Museum is a multi-dimensional experience utilizing modern technologies to immerse you in the world of racing. The museum is in the shape of a steering wheel and the displays run counter clockwise as you enter. You start with the Pikes Peak races and includes cars and motorcycles raced there.

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    There is, obviously the Indy car section that includes the brief split into the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) circuit.
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    There is a display just on tires and motors for the gear head in the crowd and a very nice display on the old (early 1900’s) board track circuit.
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    This is where motorcycles would race in wooden tracks with high walls. There was nowhere to go when things went bad and many people died on this circuit – so many so that William Davidson’s wife – a reporter before they married - wrote articles condemning motorcycles, labeling them “Murdercycles”.
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    From here you will see displays of the IROC (International Race of Champions) where drivers from the different versions of motorsports would compete in identical cars, hoping to claim which version of the sport was superior. You will also see a display on the current, up-and-coming –Unsers and their race vehicles.
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    From the main building you will head to building two where there is an extensive collection of antique cars . What caught my attention in this second building was the trophy room. Apparently the winner of the Indy 500 always got a tour of the submarine USS Indianapolis and there were numerous plagues from the submarine in the trophy room!
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    The museum includes many kiosk’s that prove to be entertaining for a wide variety of age groups. There is also a racing simulator for those that want to try their hand on the high-banked oval!
     
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  16. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Albuquerque Photographers Gallery

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    When you are in the Albuquerque area I recommend you plan at least four visits to the Old Town area. Two for the larger museums, and two for the smaller museums and shops (make sure you stop into one of the restaurants to eat!). Every time we went we found something new. Lori had this one gallery she wanted to see, so we plug it into the GPS – find the address and then go look for a place to park. In walking to the planned gallery we see a sign for the Albuquerque Photographers Gallery and decide to stop in. Now Lori has an eye for photography - she doesn’t make any money at it but our trailer is full of her work. For me photography rates as my forth best art form (ice carving, sculptures, paintings, photography). I think it is fourth because it requires the least physical labor, especially now that dark rooms have gone the way of the dodo bird. The Albuquerque Photographers Gallery worked hard on pushing their art form up the scale a bit!

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    The Gallery is the only cooperative art gallery in New Mexico dedicated solely to exhibiting and promoting contemporary fine art photography by local artists. The gallery features unique images capturing the beauty and mystery of the Southwest and beyond.

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    The gallery was founded in 2003 by award-winning photographer, Marilyn Hunter to provide a quality venue for local photographers to exhibit and sell their work and to create a nurturing and challenging environment where photographers can meet and discuss their work. The Albuquerque Photographers’ Gallery is also deeply committed to advancing the public's understanding and appreciation of photography as art the gallery is always staffed, usually by one of the photographers associated with the gallery. The photographers are all familiar with each other’s work and knowledgeable of the processes. The gallery operates as a co-op with ten member photographers. Visitors may view and purchase iconic fine art images — infused aluminum, canvas, & traditional paper prints — representing a wide variety of styles and themes, including New Mexico and the American Southwest. Now I’m going to put a little shameless commerce plug in here. I live full-time in my RV. There is little room for art (never mind the cost associated with it! Monet? No Way!). I was very impressed with the infused aluminum photographs. They are small and very light weight. The process also seems to create a three-dimensional effect on most of them. At the Albuquerque gallery they were going for $45.
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    Not what I would consider an unreasonable amount for the quality and durability (they don’t need frames). Something to consider if you have a small space you want to decorate in your rig. Of course you can still get that Jackson Pollack for the house!
     
  17. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    R.C. Gorman Navajo Museum
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    In Old Town Albuquerque you will find several art galleries. Right across from the park you will find an artist coop that houses one of the R. C. Gorman Navajo Museums. There are also galleries in Taos, Santa Fe, and Scottsdale. Rudolph Carl Gorman was a Native American artist of the Navajo Nation. Referred to as "the Picasso of American Indian artists" by The New York Times. Two of his 1974 pieces are apart of the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection. The Old Town Gallery is small and shares space with a larger coop and the art displayed in Albuquerque is (I am told) prints of the artist work and therefore not originals so keep this in mind if something catches your eye and you are thinking of making a purchase. As for me I have a limited eye for art and when things hit the price range you find most items at I am out of the market.
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    Gorman’s paintings are primarily of Native American women and characterized by fluid forms and vibrant colors. He tends to show women as strong and independent. He also worked in sculpture, ceramics, and stone lithography. He was also an avid lover of cuisine, authoring four cookbooks, (with accompanying drawings) called Nudes and Food. I did not see these on the shelves!
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  18. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    UNM Art Museum
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    I met the epitome of my art toleration. As you know I put art into three categories; Art I like, Art I don’t like, and how the hell is this even considered art? My experience came at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. The museum's permanent collection includes nearly 30,000 objects, making it the largest collection of fine art in New Mexico.
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    The UNM Art Museum is first and foremost a teaching museum. The museum was founded in 1963 and its collections have grown exponentially over the years reflecting the university’s unique location, the museum’s status as a resource, and the interests of its supporters.
    The Museum’s collection includes painting, photography, prints, and sculpture with particular strengths in American prints and works by the Transcendental Painting Group. It also houses the estate collection of Raymond Jonson and Clinton Adams and is the archive for the Tamarind Lithography Workshop and the Tamarind Institute. Begun by Van Deren Coke and enhanced by Beaumont Newhall, the vast works on paper collection includes over 10,000 photographs and early cased objects, more than 10,000 prints, which date from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) to the present day, and nearly 1,500 drawings.
    As any good museum, UNM’s art museum rotates display frequently. Being a university art museum I expect to see a wide variety of art types as well as a good mix of student and professional pieces. The UNM museum has a very diversified collection including sculptures, lithographs, paintings, and photographs. Most of the collection is very good but there was a piece by Robert Ryman that is a square white canvas painted…you guessed it…entirely white in an off white frame.
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    The placard that explains the art piece basically says if the viewer doesn’t appreciate his work it is because the museum failed to hang it on a wall that complements the piece! Really!I can’t wait for your black square in a black frame period! The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm It is closed on Sundays, Mondays and major holidays. Admission is FREE and open to the public, a $5 donation is suggested to support exhibitions. There are university lots with metered public parking nearby.
     
  19. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Homolovi State Park




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    Homolovi State Park in Navajo, Arizona was established in response to public concern about the devastation of the Homolovi sites by illegal collectors of prehistoric artifacts. Homolovi is a Hopi word meaning "place of the little hills". The damage to the sites peaked in the 1960s when a backhoe was being used at Homolovi II to dig through burials and kivas. The residents of Winslow and leaders of the Hopi people, supported by other people throughout the State, began to work to protect these sites. It was their dream that the entire area would become a State Park.
    Homolovi State Park is preserving over 300 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites. The park is located just over a mile north of Winslow, Arizona, and features historical exhibits, interpretive programs, birdwatching, and hiking. There is a year-round campground, restrooms with showers and an RV dump station.


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    From 1986 to its 2011 reopening, the name of the park was Homolovi Ruins State Park. The Hopi tribe lobbied the Arizona parks board to remove "Ruins" from the name, as the Hopi tribe considers them spiritually alive. During a meeting in Winslow on March 17, 2011, the board unanimously voted to change the name and to add the tagline "ancestral Hopi villages" to the park.
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    The Homolovi cluster of archaeological sites includes seven separate pueblo ruins built by various prehistoric people, including ancestors of the Hopi people, between approximately 1260-1400 AD (or is it CE?). This fertile area is on a floodplain of the Little Colorado River, and the inhabitants grew cotton, corn, beans, and squash. Four of the sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    The visitor center displays pottery sherds, baskets, and other artifacts, as well as offering an introduction to the human history of the park area. Information could also be found about the flora and fauna of the park, and there were books and authentic Hopi art work for sale.

    Out of the seven Homolovi ruins, two are open to visitors. Homolovi II, the largest and most thoroughly excavated site, has a sidewalk and interpretive signs. It was occupied between 1330 and 1400 AD, and has about 1200 rooms. Archaeologists believe that the inhabitants were trading cotton for pottery with the inhabitants of the Hopi Mesas. This ruin also features three large rectangular plazas and about forty kivas (underground ceremonial chambers). There are also several clusters of pit-houses, occupied before 1260 AD, which appear as mere depressions in the earth. Petroglyphs may be seen along certain sections of a nearby trail.

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    The historic cemetery of Sunset is of great significance to the local community and its past. Established in 1876, this Mormon settlement was established by Lot Smith and his Mormon followers. The settlement boasted the first post office on the Little Colorado River and was near an important ford of the river. Frequent floods forced the settlers to abandon Sunset in the early 1880s, and the community was eventually washed away. The only obvious remains of this town are the headstones in the small cemetery overlooking the river.
    Whether you're an astronomy enthusiast or just enjoy looking up at the night sky, the Winslow Homolovi Observatory (WHO) is open for solar and star parties. The Moore Telescope is computerized with a database of over 40,000 celestial objects and the structure is a donation to Homolovi State Park from members of the Little Colorado River Valley Astronomy Club, the City of Winslow, and local merchants. The observation area has additional telescopes and Hydrogen-alpha light solar telescopes for daytime solar viewing. Astronomy events are held monthly with special programs througout the year.
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    Hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders can use the 6 miles of unshaded dirt roads in the park along with the trails leading to archaeological sites. Although there are no specific equestrian trails in the park, horses may be used on the dirt roads. Horses should not be ridden cross-country due to the presence of prairie dog towns.
    Picnic tables with shade are located at the park visitor center, along the road to Homolovi II, and at Homolovi II.
    Homolovi is an excellent spot for viewing raptors and grassland birds. A bird checklist, available at the visitor center, listed of over 100 species that can be found in the area. Many mammals and reptiles can also be seen in the park.
    The entrance to the park is located on Arizona State Route 87, 1.3 miles north of Exit 257 off of Interstate 40.
    The park is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. The entrance fee is $7 per vehicle.
     
    Nani2 likes this.
  20. pudge

    pudge Active Member

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    Location:
    On the Road Full Time
    Winslow, AZ
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    I’m a pretty simple guy. I think I have led a pretty good life since there are not many things that I really want to do or see before I can no longer travel. As a matter of fact the only thing left on my bucket list I managed to accomplish on our southwest swing. There is a line from Jackson Browne / Glen Frye song “Take it Easy” that mentions Winslow, AZ. Winslow is a town on Rte 66 (ran from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA). Rte 66 used to be the Main Street of America. The interstate transportation act built Rte 40 parallel to 66 in this part of the country causing less people to stop because of the faster road with few off ramps. Many towns were left in financial ruins. While an increased nostalgia has caused a lot of interest in the old Route 66, for many towns that is not enough. So I have to admire when a town takes an obscure reference from a single line of a three and a half minute song that only hit #12 on the charts and turns it into salvation.
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    For those of you who don’t remember or are not fans of 1970’s country rock, the second line of the song goes, “Well I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona / Such a fine sight to see / It’s a girl my Lord in a flatbed / Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.” The town created a wall at an intersection with a mural that depicts the line of the song. The mural depicts a storefront window with the reflection of a flatbed Ford being driven by a girl. On a second floor window sill is an eagle (a tribute to the band) and a man embracing a woman (the guy on the corner and the woman in the truck?). To make the scene complete there is a bronze statue of a man with a guitar. Off to the side is a statue of Glen Frye that was added in 2016 as well as an actual flatbed Ford parked near the corner. While the mural wall remains it was once part of an actual building that burned down in 2004. The wall was left and the backside of the wall was turned into a band shell park to support the Standin’ on the Corner street festival in September.
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    While cruising through Winslow take note of the number of businesses that are paying off the theme, including the Sleeping on the Corner Motel. They also have a nice 9/11 Memorial Garden and a walking path / park that is very cool because before each display are three signs that tell you what is coming up next along with a small railroad display. Of course there is the Route 66 memorabilia places that are worth a quick visit.
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    If you have ever heard "Take it Easy" a trip to Winslow should be on your vacation schedule. While the wall is in need of some touch up there is a huge campaign to restore it and they are near goal. I'm sure that even if restoration is in progress it will be set up to accommodate tourists because this is a town that seems to understand. Winslow, AZ is a place to just spend a day walking around taking in the culture and the history – remembering that US-40 almost destroyed this town and if you want to see what could happen take a quick trip up 40 and jump off on US40 (Joseph City). Drive really slow and notice the businesses that AREN’T there anymore ( a campground and a trading post caught my eye).
     
    DJS12354 likes this.

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