Day 5 was set up to be an intentional light day, I built it in as a buffer I could use to catch up if needed since Saturday was a key date on the trip, something that couldn’t be moved. So I started the morning with a self-guided tour around Old Town Albuquerque.
Some cities embrace their history in different ways, like Dodge City or Deadwood for westerns. So it was interesting to see several things in this old town area embrace the town’s image from Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul. While I probably could have spent half a day tracing Walter White’s footsteps, it was enough to walk past the “Breaking Bad” store and see buckets of “Los Pollos Hermanos” fry grease in the window and pick up some “blue” rock candy. Trivia – the TV version of the blue meth was actually rock candy made here in Old Town. I grabbed up a couple of bags from this nice guy named Heisenberg.
The real old town was centered around a church and convent, very interesting. Of course it was triggering for my nerddom tho, the clock on the church was wrong. I just think it’s one of those things that is a responsibility if you are going to have a public clock. That’s my cross to bear though, in the meantime, you might like these photos from around the Old Town area.
Headed south to visit some “satellite dishes.” I have been to a couple of larger radio telescopes before, one at St. Croix and several at Green Bank WV but I wanted to see the Very Large Array popularized by the movie “Contact.” It’s about 50 miles west of Socorro NM. I wish the visitor center had been open (COVID again) but it was still worth the trip for me to see the beautiful valley full of dishes. One thing I was wondering about, in Green Bank they have the area marked off as the “National Radio Quiet Zone” to protect the dish from surrious radio signals. No such quiet zone here although I have to say it’s natural setting makes it a bit more immune to radio signals, no cell service for me in this area.
Trip Milestone – My GPS read 7,198 feet at the top of the pass between Socorro and the Very Large Array. That’s the high point of the trip so far.
Back to Socorro to the only hotel with an EV charger within 50 miles, the Best Western. They had a very nice facility. I took a down evening and caught up on laundry and a few other items.