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New Mexico Annular Solar Eclipse Adventure

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New Mexico Annular Solar Eclipse Adventure

May 17 – May 21, 2012

Day 1:  Thursday, May 17

 Comet Hale-BoppWe shall leave El Paso airport at 1:00 p.m. and head directly for Alamogordo, New Mexico to visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History. Following our tour, we shall board our bus and head to Cloudcroft located in the mountains above White Sands Missile range and boasting some of the darkest skies you will ever experience. After checking into our hotel, The Lodge, we shall enjoy a dinner at Rebecca’s-the hotel’s restaurant and purported to be haunted by a ghost of the same name. As a special treat, Dr. Alan Hale of Hale-Bopp comet fame and a Cloudcroft resident has agreed to speak to our group. Before bedtime, we shall bundle up and conduct our own personal binoculars star party under the dark skies of southern New Mexico.

Day 2: Friday, May 18

Following breakfast at the hotel, our bus shall take us to the National Solar Observatory on Sacramento Peak, where we will tour the facility. Before we leave the mountaintop, we shall have lunch at Big Daddy’s Diner in Cloudcroft. Our next stop is the Three Rivers Petroglyphs site, which contains over 21,000 petroglyphs depicting masks, sunbursts, wild life, and handprints. These are outstanding examples of prehistoric Jornada Mogolion rock art. Dr. EC Krupp, Griffith Observatory’s Director, shall share his knowledge as we hike through the grounds. Sturdy shoes are a must and you may elect to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Our next stop is Socorro where we shall be staying at the Holiday Inn Express. Following dinner at the Socorro Springs Brewing Company, we will board the bus for a short drive to the Etscorn Observatory, which houses several telescopes and where we shall have a star party compliments of the New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club.


Day 3: Saturday, May 19

After breakfast at the hotel, we shall depart for the Very Large Array. The VLA was prominently featured in the movie Contact and is one of the world’s premier telescope observatories. There are 27 telescopes on three tracks shaped like a Y. Each dish is 230 tons and 82 feet in diameter! Following our tour, we shall return to Socorro for lunch and then head for Albuquerque. Our next stop is Petroglyph National Monument, where U.S. Park Ranger Luke Fields and Dr. Krupp will lead us on a hike of the Rinconada Trail. The excursion again calls for sturdy shoes but is no more than one-mile roundtrip.

We shall check into Hotel Andaluz, located close to Old Town Albuquerque. We shall have dinner at the Church Street Café in Old Town.  Dr. Krupp will present a public lecture about the eclipse at the Petroglyph National monument at 8:00 p.m., and you may wish to attend.


Day 4:  ECLIPSE DAY!!!  Sunday, May 20

The eclipse takes place as the Sun prepares to set. We shall be watching the event from Petroglyph National Monument and must arrive at 5:00 p.m.  We have a couple of excursions during the day. Albuquerque is home to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History and details the history of early atomic research in America. We shall also be taking a quick jaunt to Coronado State Monument site of Kuaua, a thirteenth-century Tiwa pueblo.

Following the early evening ECLIPSE, we shall return to the Hotel and have dinner at Lucia’s Restaurant located in the hotel.

Monday, May 21:
Proceed to the airport via a shuttle.

Trip Notes: (the fine print)
This is a  physically rigorous schedule and there is no guarantee the weather will cooperate. It is possible that we shall not be able to see the eclipse or participate in the star parties due to clouds.

The prices $1295.00  (dbl occupancy) and $1545.00 (single supplement) include the bus transportation, airport shuttle to Albuquerque airport, hotels, all meals and beverages (excluding alcohol), and all tours, tips and museum fees. The airfare is not a covered expense and you should make plans to fly into El Paso, Texas and out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bus departs promptly at 1:00 p.m. on May 17th.

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