2004 Very Large Array
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The Very Large Array is a radio telescope operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and located on a plateau about 60 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico on U.S. 60.  It is a very remote, isolated area, but we arranged to pass by it on our way from Las Cruces to Flagstaff at the end of the week.  There's not a lot to see except the radio telescope dishes themselves and a small visitor center.  There are 27 dishes that can be arranged along railroad tracks in a variety of ways, the most common of which is in a "Y" configuration.


Sign on the visitor center.


There are all sorts of admonitions around!

In going from Las Cruces to the VLA, one climbs from about 3,800 to about 7,000 feet in elevation, and on our particular day the temperature dropped from a comfortable 75 in Las Cruces to a chilly 35 here.  Some people stayed in the visitor center rather than venture out onto the self-guided tour (maybe they were just afraid o' them snakes!).  Because the site is so remote, visitors are not that frequent, and the visitor center is unattended.  We did not see a single other soul apart from ourselves during our visit.




Joshua took this photo in black and white.


After leaving the VLA, we continued west on U.S. 60.  Two of the three vehicles stopped for dinner here at the Largo Cafe in Quemado, New Mexico.  The food was great (or, at least, reasonably digestible), and we probably gave them more business in the one-and-a-half hours we were there than they'd had all the previous week.

I took this photo through the window of the cafe while waiting for the food to arrive.  Just above the center of the photo, in the distance, is a 1960 Chevy.  The first new car my father ever bought was a 1960 Chevy, and I was three years old.  He had it for four years, and I still remember riding around in it.  (Like you care!)