I had a few frustrating days last week. I had gone online to update a few things on WordPress and my domain, and for some reason my credit card was declined.
I went over to my credit card billing page and it said I’d called in “a lost or stolen card.” I hadn’t called in at all. In fact, I had no phone service the whole time I was at Heron Lake. I found I didn’t have coverage from Chama down to Tierra Amarilla.
At first I thought my phone got cut off until I found it was on another credit card. It wasn’t until I left and hit the US 550 corridor that I had cell service. Then it wasn’t until I camped my second night that I found voice mails from my card company asking to verify purchases.
I was able to use the Heron Lake State Park office phone before I left and learned it was a precautionary move by the credit card company that my card was cut off and I was to receive a new card.
What a pain in the backside!
I’ve traveled further south, after I had stayed a couple of more days at Heron to cool off from the chaos. I camped up NM 4 at Vista Linda campground north of San Ysidro, NM. It’s a pretty campground in the canyon. There were only about 12 campsites. It might have been more quiet had it been further from the road. Still it was nice enough for $10.00.
The rough part of heading south is there are no other routes around Albuquerque from that direction. I did eliminate going through Espanola and Santa Fe by heading to US 550.
It seems I hit I-25 at the right time of 9:30AM, as the traffic was not too heavy.
It was a long day to get down to Socorro, NM and west to the small (tiny) town of Datil. I had planned on a stop just west of Socorro but I found Water Canyon campground a little lacking. Sometimes I have a weird feeling about camps and that was one of them for me.
The two draws to this area are the Very Large Array radio telescopes between Datil and Magdalena, NM. I went over this morning to the visitor’s center. I have to say it was a very impressive self-tour. The visitor’s center has a really good video to watch and narrated by non other than Jodie Foster. If you remember the movie “Contact,” it was here that they filmed. For a virtual tour you can go to https://public.nrao.edu. On the tour I walked right up to a dish. I decided to take an Instagram shot with my phone and turned it on. ( You must turn your phone off or to airplane mode at the VLA. Turns out that a cell signal is something like billions and billions times stronger than the radio signals they detect from space.) When I turned my phone on, still in airplane mode, the dish moved. All the dishes moved. I thought I had done it and I was going to be arrested. Freak out! No one came and cussed me out or hauled me off. I took the shot and turned off the phone.
The other attraction in the region is Pie Town just west from Datil. The Pie-o-neer cafe serves pie, lots of pie. Go figure! After my tour of the VLA, I drove over and picked up a cherry, cherry pie and a blueberry. Oh, so, good!
The campground I’m in is Datil Well. It’s a BLM campground with water spigots around the campground. At $5.00 a night it can’t be beat.
Really glad I came this way. Now I have to find “Contact” and watch it again.
Thanks for reading.