New Mexico September 2010

This trip was inspired by Richard Alaniz a supervisor at work who described to me the miracle staircase that is rumored to have been constructed by St. Joseph in response to the prayers of the Loretta Nuns.

We did a timeshare exchange to Ruidoso with the plan to spend an evening in Santa Fe area at the end of the week so we could see the chapel. Flew into Albuquerque and made our way to Ruidoso for the week. I think we stayed at the Innsbrook Village Country Club Resort.

Remy and Aida wasted no time in discovering the existance of Indian Casinos in the area. We spent our first day at the Ruidoso Downs. Dave and I watched the races. Remy and Aida did the one arm bandits.

Not sure what all we did the next day. I'm piecing together this trip five years later. We spent some time driving around the town. Saw the ranger fire watch station on top of the mountain. The girls did some shopping and we tagged along. There were some interesting carvings outside some of the stores and we ate lunch at a specialty lunch place. My pictures don't show a full day itinerary. Perhaps the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino might explain the missing hours. Click here to see the town photos: Ruidoso

The next day we set out for the National Solar Observatory near the Sacramento Peak and to do some site seeing of the mountain scenery. We happened upon the McGuinn's Pistachio Tree Farm along the way. The tree farm had some interesting views, but inside the store was a selection of various flavored pistachio nuts. The garlic flavored ones was my favorite.

Continuing our journey to the observatory we made a few stops for some pictures of the mountain scenery.

Next we made our way to the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak where the Richard B. Dunn Solar Telecope (DST) specializes in solar high resolution imaging and spectroscopy. The observatory lies in the Lincoln National Forest in the Sacramento Mountains, near Cloudcroft, New Mexico. The DST is designed to allow observations of sunspots and other solar activities. I hiked around the complex to observe the DST and the other telescopes residing there while the rest of my gang hanged out at the Sunspot Astronomy and Visitors Center. My hike followed the Hike Map. You can mouse over the map to see a description of the stop locations. The photos of my hike follow that trail.

The next day we did a day trip to Roswell, New Mexico, to see the space men. Along the way we made several stops to observe the scenery. Once there we spent several hours in the UFO Museum. On the way back that afternoon we stopped at a general store with Native Museum displays.

The next day they all took it easy. I did an early walk around the Condo complex and the surrounding neighborhood. People here have some impressive wood carvings. I think Remy and I joined a tournament on the par 3 course at the Time Share that afternoon.

The next day we drove to Santa Fe for one of the motivations for this trip. After Richard Alaniz described the miracle at the Loretto Sisters Chapel, I did some research and we included that on our bucket list. So this became one of my first post cancer treatment destinations. The history is that the Loretto Chapel was built in the late 1800's without access to the choir loft. The area contractors could not come up with a design to solve their problem. So the sisters did a novena to St. Joseph for a solution. Chapel Images

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