Checking in from Pie Town, NM …
For the last couple of days, I walked into and out of Magdalena in the mountains of New Mexico. The Spanish soldiers who visited the area in the late 1500’s thought they saw the countenance of a woman on the mountain face and gave the mountain and the town its name which means “lady of the mountain.” Brenda thought she could see the image, but I just could not see it. Personally, I think the conquistadors were drinking the same thing as their seafaring countrymen who thought manatees were mermaids.
Outside of Magdalena, we visited the VLA or Very Large Array, a premier astronomical observatory. This is a surreal place with 27 massive (each 82 feet in diameter) satellite dishes arranged in a Y formation that are connected together into a single large radio telescope that analyzes radio waves that are emitted by cosmic objects such as the sun, planets and galaxies. It sits on the Plains of San Agustin, which is actually a dried ancient lakebed surrounded by volcanic mountains. The site was chosen 32 years ago due to its isolated and flat location, the high altitude and thin air and the lack of electrical interference from the protection of the mountains. In addition to finding and mapping extremely faint astronomical objects, the observatory is on a continuous search for extraterrestrial life out there. ET phone home. The LRA has been featured in several movies and videos, most notable the movie Contact starring Jodie Foster. To my friend, Don Bryant, who currently lives in Copenhagen—you would love this place.
After leaving Magdalena, we moved the RV to Pie Town right on the Continental Divide for a few days. It will actually take me a couple of days to walk through the beautiful mountains to the town with Brenda ferrying me to and from start and end points. We moved this far ahead because a small RV park was in town. But to be honest, we were also attracted by the fact that two famous cafes—Good Pie and Pie-O-Neer—are right down the street. As the town’s and the cafes’ names imply, homemade pies are the featured food. For those who wonder if pies are on a heart healthy diet, just think moderation. Plus you can cheat once in awhile, if you are burning 3,000 calories a day.
We appreciate all who express concern for Brenda, Zuzu and me. Brenda is enjoying the trip, overlooking minor problems and putting up with me. Zu has problem finding grass to do her business. I’m doing well overall but have had a couple of bad days of late. My one remaining kidney stone has flared up again, and the altitude (currently over 7,200 feet elevation) makes one work doubly hard. We’ve traded high temperatures for high altitude. But I still feel strong, and we’ll be heading downhill in just a few weeks. Santa Monica is now just two states away.
After Pie Town, we will continue west on Highway 60 to Quemado, NM and then on to Springerville, AZ. Thanks for your continued interest and support.