Parque Natural Mexiquillo


Better Eyes

Heading for the hospital, O dark thirty

Check in at 5:30 am

Dr. Falk ready to go

His very talented fingers inserting a new lens. Right eye today, left eye in October. 

All done. Tomorrow the patch comes off and can enjoy my new better vision.


Better Ears

Today I went to Costco for new hearing aids. Theresa has been fitting aids for 13 years. She put me through my paces to find out how profound my hearing loss is. My family and friends could have told her very profound.

She did a great job and here are the results.

Normal hearing
My hearing 

My new aids will be here next week. They have blue tooth technology so I can use them to stream the TV directly to them, as well as any other  blue tooth device. Hearing aids - $$$$$$$  Not having to say what all the time - PRICELESS.
New ears today, New right eye tomorrow.


A New Look

Serenity was looking a little dated, so I gave her a new look. Originally the couch fabric matched the print material on the window valences. I think the solid tan looks much better. Starting last Febuary Linda and I began redoing the window treatments. Today I finished.

Serenity is looking good.


He's Alive, He's Alive

Next Thursday I am going under the knife to fix my cataracts. The right eye first and then if all goes well the left the following week. This will be a good. Right now by the time I can read the freeway signs it is almost too late to change lanes.

Getting pre-op EKG along with other tests. I am certified,  good to go.

Diner at our favorite Mexican spot, Osuna's.  (34.11565, -117.87336)

Gay had the chicken Mole special. It was sooooo good. She shared with me.  :-)

I had the Hollenbeck, slow cooked Pork in an excellent Tomatillo Sauce. Yes, I also shared. 


Sixty West

Heading west on highway 60.

Definitely in the west again

Love these wide open spaces

The Salt River Canyon is magnificent. 

Nice boondocking spot north of Globe, AZ.
 (33.64176, -110.57323)  


Very Large Array

The Very Large Array is one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world. This site in western New Mexico (34.078358, -107.618803) was chosen because it is high, flat and far from any city. The mountains ringing the plains provide protection from man-made electrical interference. Additionally, the height above sea level, 6,900 feet, minimizes the blurring effect of the atmosphere on radian images.

There are twenty seven 230 ton, 25 meter wide dish antennas place along three legs of a Y shaped antenna grid that is 22 miles across. They act together as one very large telescope.   Radio waves are generated by nearly every object in space, but they are a billionth of a billion times less powerful than a call on you cell phone. In fact, cell phones must be turned off as they can blind the telescope's sensitive radio eyes. 

The resolution of the VLA can be varied by changing the distance of the dishes from the center. They are move four times a year. 

Manatee Nebula - this gas cloud harbors the compacted remains of an exploded star.

M 51  Whirlpool Galaxy

The LVA is its' self a star. It was featured in Carl Sagan's Comos: A Personal Voyage, and the films 2010, The Arrival and Independence Day to name a few. 

Spent the night at Datil Well Campground. (34.15368, -107.85742)   $2.50 with my old guy pass. Nina & Paul's excellent review

Site 21


Ancestral Pueblo People

Bandelier National Monument

The Ancestral Pueblo People started building large permeant structures in Frijoles Canyon around 1150. For 400 years they hunted, farmed, loved, laughed, and raised their families in this lush green oasis. Then they moved south to pueblos along the Rio Grande River. This canyon was carved through hundreds of feet of volcanic tuff deposed when the Valles Volcano erupted 1.2 million years ago.

Frijoles Canyon
Diorama at the visitors center 

Tyuonyi was one, two and three stories tall and consisted of around 400 rooms. 

How it might have looked back in the day.

When in use, the kiva would have been covered by a roof made of wood and earth. It was the center of the community, not only for religious activities, but also for education and decision making.

Rooms were carved out of the soft volcanic tuff. 

A reconstruction of how some of the rooms might have looked

Other caves were fronted with rooms built of local materials. This reconstruction may not be accurate as the pueblos traditionally entered their homes through the roof.

Long House
At Long House a long series of rooms were built against the South facing canyon wall. All these dwellings, Tyuonyi, Long House and rooms carved out of the tuff were occupied simultaneously. Who lived where and why is up to speculation; maybe clan, family groups, personal preference.

Long House
The rows of holes that anchored roof poles indicate that the building here was three stories high. The cliff face at the back of some rooms looks like this has been smoothed and plastered over. Niches were cut in the wall. 

 This pictograph was uncovered behind a layer of plaster on the back wall of a second story room.

I made the 140 climb to Alcove House. You can see two people climbing the ladders.

Alcove House
 A nice climb up three different ladders leads to a spectacular view and another kiva. This one restored, but you may not enter it.