09-Oct-2011 -- This would be the second of 11 confluence visits on a trip to Colorado coming from 33N 107W. From Las Cruces, I continued east on US-70. As I crested San Augustin Pass, I was treated to an incredible moon rise ahead. I descended down through the White Sands Missile Range and beyond the White Sands National Monument. My goal was to reach 33N 106W before sunset.
I stopped 130 meters west of the point along Riata Road and quickly scrambled over a set of railroad tracks and a steep sided ravine to the zeropoint. The general area was sandy with small bush root systems holding onto as much sand as they could in a losing battle with wind and water erosion. The sun had just set and I was captured 15 minutes of TerraSync data on my Trimble Juno. Another custom SPOT message sent and then it was back to the van. The full moon was an awesome sight!
Picture 1 shows the full moon rising to the east above the Sacramento Mountains. Picture 2 looks south. Picture 3 looks west at the circumstance of sunset over the San Andres Mountains. Picture 4 looks north. Picture 5 shows my GPS position. Picture 6 shows another view to the east taken from an iPad App called Theodolite that uses all the sensors in the iPad. Picture 7 is the iPad view to the south. Picture 8 is the iPad view west. Picture 9 is the iPad view north.
Pathfinder Office Post Processing 508 data points from my Trimble Juno reveals an average position of 33° 00’ 00.03307”N, 105° 59’ 59.98096”W with a horizontal precision of 2.1 meters and an altitude of 1354.198 meters with a vertical precision of 1.3 meters.
The hike from Riata road was 130 meters and only took a couple of minutes. My stop for the night was the Valley of Fires Recreation Area on the east side of the Malapis Lava Flow. About half of the spots were empty so I popped the top on my Eurovan and slept for the night. I awoke to an outstanding view overlooking the dark black basalt of the lava flow! The camp site was on a rise and I wish I could have spent more time there.
The restaurant at the crossroads in Carrizozo made an outstanding breakfast preparing me for the continuation of my adventure at 34N 106W.