Archive for the ‘Hidden Treasures’ category

J and R Vintage Auto Museum in Rio Rancho

March 19th, 2010
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Gab & Evonna Joiner, native New Mexicans, have called Rio Rancho home for the past 18 years. After Gab bought his first antique car in 1959, a 1926 Model T Ford coupe, which he later traded for a ’28 Chevrolet, he also bought a 1918 Model T Ford that had been made into a pickup from a touring car the same year in Raton. Gab’s passion for vintage and antique automobiles has grow ever since and has resulted in a collection of more than 70 cars and trucks. These vehicles range in age from circa 1907-1966. Some are fully restored, while others retain their original paint, upholstery and motor grease. Step through the entrance to the main showroom and you will be swept away to a time when cars came with tool kits and people on cross-country drives wore goggles and brought along their mechanics. The museum also serves as a way station for the Great Race, a coast-to-coast event exclusively for vintage autos.

Fort Bayard in Silver City, New Mexico

January 2nd, 2010
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In 1865, General Carlton, commander of the District of New Mexico, requested that a new fort be established in the southwest region to protect the early settlers, miners and travelers from the Apache. Fort Bayard, located in the homeland of the Apache, was established in August 1866 by Company B of the 125th U.S. Colored Infactry, under the command of Lieutenant James Kerr. He established an encampment near the mining communities of Pinos Altos and Santa Rita. In 1899 the post of Fort Bayard was transferred to the Army Medical Department.

Fort Bayard was home to Native American Indian Scouts and several Buffalo Soldiers, including William Cathay (a.k.a. Cathay Williams), who was the only known female Buffalo Soldier. Military leaders such as General George Crook and “Black Jack” Pershing spent time at Fort Bayard, as well. Among its medical leaders were Major D.D.M. Appel and Major Dr. George E. Bushnell.

Both completed outstanding research discoveries and procedures in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. R.N. Dita Kinney, later director of the Army Nurses Corps, supervised the inclusion of female nurses in the Army Medical Department. Fort Bayard is one of the many nearby communities just outside Silver City, less than 15 minutes from downtown, south on Highway 180.

City of Rocks State Park

November 4th, 2009
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Formed of volcanic ash 30 million years ago and sculpted by wind and water into rows of monolithic blocks, City of Rocks State Park in Faywood (near Deming) takes its name from these incredible rock formations. Cactus gardens and hiking trails add to this unique destination. The rock formations at the park are so unique that they are only known to exist in six other places in the world. Imaginative visitors may see the rock formations as a small city, complete with houses, chimneys, courtyards, and streets.

Until 1200 A.D., Mimbres Indians roamed this area and left arrowheads and pottery shards as evidence of their culture. Spanish conquistadors also spent time in the area, carving crosses into the rocks.

City of Rocks was the first New Mexico state park to receive an observatory. The observatory consists of a 12 x 16 building with a roll-off roof and is permanently equipped with a 14″ Meade LX-200. The entire facility is solar-powered and includes a 20-inch monitor, which allows several visitors to simultaneously view the jewels in the night sky, as images are transmitted through the telescope.

Visitors can see a sampling of southwestern plants and animals. The park’s desert botanical garden is home to cow’s tongue and bunny ear cacti, yucca, and towering century plants. Deer, antelope, javelinas and jackrabbits are frequently seen in the area, along with over 35 species of birds, ranging from golden eagles to finches.

Hidden Treasure: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

November 4th, 2009
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The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a remarkable outdoor laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes. The national monument, on the Pajarito Plateau in north-central New Mexico, includes a national recreation trail and ranges from 5,570 feet to 6,760 feet above sea level.

The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. Tremendous explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts (rock fragments), while searing hot gases blasted down slopes in an incandescent avalanche called a pyroclastic flow. In close inspections of the arroyos, visitors will discover small, rounded, translucent obsidian (volcanic glass) fragments created by rapid cooling. Please leave these fragments for others to enjoy.

Precariously perched on many of the tapering hoodoos are boulder caps that protect the softer pumice and tuff below. Some tents have lost their hard, resistant caprocks and are disintegrating. While fairly uniform in shape, the tent rock formations vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet.

As the result of uniform layering of volcanic material, bands of gray are interspersed with beige and pink-colored rock along the cliff face. Over time, wind and water cut into these deposits, creating canyons and arroyos, scooping holes in the rock, and contouring the ends of small, inward ravines into smooth semi-circles.

Albuquerque Museum

July 23rd, 2009
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The Albuquerque Museum is located in the in the heart of historic Old Town and just across the street from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Explora, the Children’s Science Museum —as well as our closeness to many other memorable attractions.

That is perhaps why The Albuquerque Museum is an enjoyable experience for so many visitors each year: one-third of our guests are nonresidents. It’s easy for them to reach us from the interstate, and there is plenty of available parking. There is great recognition of, and support for, art in our community. It also means we are able to offer a wide range of attractions and programs with only modest charge to the public.

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