Very Large ArrayPlains of Saint Augustine, New Mexico
Over the years that we have traveled between Arizona and Kansas we have tried to make the trip more interesting by taking side trips, usually something that will take us 30-50 miles out of the way.
On our 2016 trip, we traveled south on I-25 from Albuquerque to Socorro, NM. This took us out to The Very Large Array Listening Station. A facility designed and dedicated to listening to and mapping the galaxy (as well as looking for extra-terrestrials).
I’m used to wide open spaces and vista views, but this was breathtaking. Situated in the Plains of Saint Augustine, New Mexico, surrounded by mountains, it is a perfect spot for this kind of endeavor. Signals have a hard time getting in and out. Less interference so the satellites could do their job. We were without instant communications while exploring all that the Very Large Array has to offer. And I was really ok with that.
This side trip was slightly more than a 50 mile detour, but was worth the miles. We still got home ok.