As if there wasn't enough going on this 'Mass Ascension' weekend
, the world famous Trinity Site
opens it doors (ok, Gates
) to visitors on Saturday. Instead of getting up early to see beautiful balloons, you can head south before sunrise to pass through the highly secured gates of the Trinity Site for a bit of nostalgia
. On the way home you can zip over to see the VLA (Very Large Array) as well, and still be back in 'burque in time for the Balloon Glowdeo at twilight.
Several years ago, I made the trek south from Albuquerque to the Trinity Site (and to the VLA on the way home) and took some photographs of the experience...So if you want to visit both spots from your desktop
check out the complete Trinity Gallery pages at Trinity/VLA Gallery
. If you like what you see, you can gear up for a journey this weekend or just make it another year.
It is about a three hour drive to the site and there will be a line of vehicles waiting to pass through the gates at dawn. It can get hot and gusty winds may exist. You need a valid driver's license/ID to go through security. The place itself is mystically bleak. Not sure I can add that term to any other monument I have seen except for the Vietnam Wall Memorial perhaps. There are other hollowed out buildings and 'odd' structures surrounding the more famous triangular monument. The monument area is highly 'scrutinized' by a plethora of security officials...Many of the other buildings... well, not so much.
The Very Large Array (of radio telescopes) is open year round. I love the VLA which is an easy two hour drive from Albuquerque (west of Soccorro past Magdelena). There is a pleasant and informative Visitors' Center and plenty to walk around and gape
I have often seen eagles, hawks and other birds of prey there along with the vast Plains of St. Augustine which is where I would land if I was piloting a UFO. No wonder scenes from the movie CONTACT were filmed there. An easy and surreal road trip adventure easily do-able in an afternoon. The town of Magdelena is fun.
So pack up the cooler and gas the guzzler....or just click over to the complete Trinity Gallery pages at Trinity/VLA Gallery
. Either way, enjoy the first weekend of October in our amazing state.
[Photography courtesy Aquila Arts LLC]