I woke up last week and a switch had flipped! It was time to go home. I did manage a few more tourist stops on the way out though. New Mexico is a terrific place to drive around. Especially if you like avoiding interstates! The landscape is beautiful and there’s nothing but wide open spaces.
I really loved the drive. There were a lot of surprisingly perfect places to stop along the way too. Like the home of Smokey Bear. Who doesn’t love that bear?
I still remember all the visits from the local fire department when I was a kid. They’d bring the firetrucks to school and probably told us not to play with matches. That’s not the part I remember. I remember the guy in the Smokey suit. He always said ‘only you can prevent forest fires.’ That’s the part I remember.
Whoever came up with the Smokey campaign was brilliant! I’m not the only one who got the message…turns out Smokey Bear is the second most recognized international figure, behind only Santa Claus. Woodsy Owl is totally jealous. And of course, Smokey was a real bear, rescued from a forest fire after being badly burned. The marketing campaign came before the real bear, believe it or not!
It was the perfect little stop. Visit the Smokey museum, stroll through the little park to stretch the legs. They even had a picnic spot with a playground for the kids.
My next stop was another science stop. It was a no-brainer once I saw on the map it had a visitor’s center. The VLA…Very Large Array.
It’s a series of 27 satellite dishes each 83 feet across that monitors deep space radio waves. You may recall seeing it in movies like Contact or Independence Day. Of course, the VLA mission is not to look for alien life but I’m pretty sure they’d find it before anyone in Roswell.
No, their actual mission looks more like this! They’re responsible for lots of cool deep space images. This is a recent visualization of the Hercules A galaxy to come from the VLA. Yay Science!!
And just to bring it back around to knitting, I did finish my road trip WIP (mostly a WestKnits’ Dotted Rays, I put my own edging on it though). I thought I found the prefect spot for a quick pic at the Smokey Bear park…
Looks good, right? I even picked a bird-poop free spot along the wall! Turns out, I didn’t even notice the tree sap. D’oh! Got home and discovered two sticky spots on the back of the shawl that definitely smell like sap. I can’t imagine where else they would have come from. Of course, one of the spots is right in the middle of an angora stripe. How the heck does one remove tree sap from angora??
I’m going to start with a eucalan soak. I don’t usually use soap on my knitting but I think it might be necessary this time?
I also visited one last yarn shop, I’ll save that for tomorrow! :)