T – I was awake before the sun came up today. I must say that I was pretty damn keen to pack up the tent and move on. I didn’t sleep too much last night!
We sat in the early morning sun and cooked ourselves some brekky and had a nice cup of tea while we decided what we wanted to do today. Rosie seems to have finished her spoke breaking episode, for now, but we are still wary of too much offroading until she gets the all clear.
There was a geocache nearby so we thought we would try to find it on the way out. After about 30 minutes of looking we never found it and gave up. Still have yet to find one in North America.
Then it was onwards. We had 3 turns to make today and that includes the one into our camp!
The road out was quite nice and soon we were heading downwards from the mountains we camped and across military bombing ranges. There was a big section we passed through called the valley of fire. It looked as though the whole place had in fact been burnt at some time, but it was just the massive lava flows that had once spread through this area. The black rock stretching for miles in every direction.
Then it was just slog out some bitumen for a while until we got to the town of Soccoro where we filled the bikes, updated the blog and turned west.
C – We were both super excited about getting to the National Radio Astronomy Observation centre to check out the VLA – Very Large Array. We first spotted one of the dishes as we rounded a corner. The road then became straight as we headed towards the dishes, with more and more slowly coming in to view. We both got more and more excited the closer we appeared to get, but really, it felt like it took FOREVER!
T – I had only ever seen it used in Jodie Fosters Contact movie and was well and truly impressed when I saw the large dishes spread out in every direction across the plains! Even more so when we got there and we were allowed to roam for free because the ticket office was closing!
It was quite interesting reading about the astronomy projects that go on here and the uses of the VLA. It was quite in depth and certainly way over my head!
C – We checked out the visitors centre then did the self guided walking tour, which basically walks you through how it all works. I find this field fascinating and although I can understand the concepts theoretically, the practical implications and nature of the science are waaaaaaaay out of my realm!!!
T – From there we raced towards gaps in the brewing storms that lay to the west of us. Thick black clouds hanging ominously over towering mountains while flashes of lightning chased us down the road.
It soon got to a point where we had to don our wet weather gear. Which just happened to be near a sign that proclaimed some ranchers love for the Obama team in Washington.
Lucky that we did put the wet weather gear on as it was soon bucketing down heavily. I enjoyed splashing Mabel through the puddles and washing all the mud and dust off of her undersides! Im sure she didnt enjoy it as much as me though. Then the leaks started and soon my manhood was tea bagging the pool of icy cold water collecting in my crotch. Very unpleasant, but it certainly made me sit up and wake up a little!
By the time we rolled into camp the rain had almost fizzled out. Just leaving crashing thunder and the odd bolt of lightning to keep us company.
Tomorrow we should get into Arizona quite easily!