The day after Thanksgiving Lev, Matt, and I went out and about to burn off some of the extra calories from the previous evening. We went to the west mesa volcanoes, which are part of the Petroglyph National Monument. It was refreshing to see that a lot of other people had the same idea; rather than go shopping like too many people do the day after Thanksgiving, they were outside enjoying the good weather. It was, indeed, a beautiful day, and the scenery was equally lovely.
|Matt, Melissa, and Lev. Two paleontologists and an astrobiologist. In the background, a volcano.|
We hiked around for a good 2 hours. From up on the volcanoes themselves we got a great view of the city of Albuquerque.
|Far background: the Sandias. Foreground: west mesa. Middle and below: Albuquerque, NM|
The mesa is made of a volcanic rock called basalt. Rifting in the area caused the valley and volcanoes to form. The rift is still somewhat active, so the volcanoes themselves aren't totally dormant. I seriously doubt, however, that they will be doing anything interesting in the near future.
|The tall rectangle that is roughly in the middle of the picture is the Bank of the West building. I live about 2 blocks to the west of that building. In the far background are the Sandia Mountains to the east.|
|One of a number of volcanoes. We wandered around this big one for a while, it was too tall for me to want to climb, as I was running out of water.|
|Sitting, watching the daylight run out.|
We were at the VLA right before dusk with Dave and Mouse, and I got some rather neat pictures before the sun went down.
|Tracks which are used to move the antennas around.|
|National Radio Astronomy Observatory VLA.|
|Radio telescope sentinels, standing in a row|
|Sunset on the Plains of San Augustine|
|These a really rather large|