Starting mileage: 8016 Starting time: 9:30 am
Ending mileage: 8360 Ending time: 4:00 pm
Travel mileage: 344 Travel time: 6:30 hours
Today was mostly a traveling day to visit our friends Andy and Marguerite in Los Alamos. Andy was my roommate at Princeton and is now a research scientist at the Los Alamos Laboratory.
Our trip took us through Hatch, NM which claims to be the chili pepper capital of NM. It is a small town but everywhere there are red peppers drying on metal roofs and long strings of dried peppers hanging in front of shops.
We made a short stop in Truth or Consequences, NM to see if there was anything interesting. It was renamed in 1950 after the radio show host Ralph Edwards said he would broadcast from the first town to rename itself - and the name has been kept since then. The town was originally named "Hot Springs" and still has historic resorts and spas from the late 1800s. There is a fountain that is said to shoot up hot water every 15 minutes but we didn't wait for it.
I-25 follows the Rio Grande valley all of the way up to Santa Fe. There are towns and green vegetation along both sides of the river although it quickly becomes brown past the watered areas.
Our first stop in Los Alamos was Rose Chocolatier, Marguerite's artisan chocolate shop which she opened a little over a year ago. Andy stopped by on his way back from the lab and gave us a short walking tour of the town. The county historical museum is located in a building which was a private boarding school up until 1940 when the Manhattan Project was established here and it was taken over by the government for offices and meeting rooms.
Andy and Marguerite have a house on the edge of the mesa with quite a spectacular view of the canyons and the mountains in the distance towards Santa Fe. It is quite a steep drop from the edge of their property to the bottom of the canyon. We were here 4 years ago for their wedding which was held in their yard.
Day 32 route
Rio Grande valley near Albuquerque