Dates: 2015-11-30 to 2015-12-7
I spent the first week of December in Socorro, New Mexico, reducing data from the Very Large Array (VLA). As a visiting astronomer, I stayed in the guest house of NRAO (the National Radio Astronomy Observatories):
Here are photos from my walk/bike every morning through the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the NRAO main building and a nearby restaurant with walls painted in honour of the radio observatory.
Now time for a flashback! A year ago I was touring the South West looking for astronomy positions and for several days (waiting for a delayed luggage) I stayed in Albuquerque in the home of couchsurf host Keith Bakker who soon became my good friend and when I asked him a week before if he had room for me again, he said sure! The cats were older, the pole was new, the house was more stuffed with furniture due to a recent trip to his parents home in Boston, but I felt instantly at home again.
On Saturday we took a walk down route 66, which was like 4th ave in Tucson, and later that evening a christmas parade surprised us (but explained all the freezing families sitting in the street).
On Sunday, with a new battery in the car, we convinced Anna, Keith’s roomate, to join us on a trip to a hot spring North of Albuquerque, up in Dark Canyon. And dude, did I miss seeing forest like that.
We were not quite alone at the springs, but people were nice and there was room for a bit of self-reflection (and posing).