05-Nov-2000 -- It didn't look great for this
point. I live in Socorro, and the storm that was supposed to arrive
Saturday night dropped by a day early. It was raining pretty heavily in
town and there was a solid bank of clouds, and mountains, to the west.
I decided to give it a go anyway. Luckily, as the saying almost goes,
all you have to do is wait (or drive) 15 minutes in New Mexico and the
weather and/or the sceanery will change. It changed all right. By the
time I got west about 25 miles on US60 to the town of Magdalena it
looked like it was going to snow. By the time I made it to Datil I had
already passed by two snow plows. The short drive through the mountains
south of Datil on NM12 was very pretty. Everything was covered with a
fresh layer of snow -- except for the road. There is a driveway to a
group of buildings that practically takes you right to the spot.
This point is down on the Plains of San Agustin. This is the remains
of an ancient lake. The eastern end of the plain is occupied by the
Very Large Array. This is the worlds largest radio telescope. It has
been in movies (Contact, 2010), print and television advertisements. I
used to be a telescope operator there in the 1980's. The VLA is
actually about 20 miles to the northwest of this location.