Mt. Baldy

After our shoot at the VLA on Thursday, we checked into the famous San Miguel Inn in Socorro and had dinner at the Valverde Steakhouse. After some stargazing at New Mexico Tech's Etscorn observatory, we turned in for some well-deserved rest.

Our Friday destination was Mt. Baldy — the 10,783-foot peak that is home to a science research "reservation" including the Irving Langmuir Lightning Lab and the Joint Observatory for Cometary Research (JOCR) (both administered by New Mexico Tech). Since we had rented a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, we decided to test it out on the vastly unimproved Water Canyon road up to the top. The summit is closed to visitors, so we stopped a few hundred yards short of the JOCR and did some hiking. It was great to be in the mountains again!

Click on the pictures to see an enlargement.
Click the BACK button on your browser to return.
Our trusty mountain-climbing Blazer with Mark near the top of Mt. Baldy.

Mark and blazer
We had to stop to turn around at the entrance to the science "reservation" as the view was spectacular. Besides, the gate was locked.
The Langmuir Lightning Lab

The Langmuir Lab
In 1985 Carolyn visited the Irving Langmuir Lab while she was still working at the Denver Post. She ultimately wrote a story about the "Lightning Makers" who worked up there studying the effects of lightning discharges — among them Charley Moore and Bernard Vonnegut. The resulting article won Carolyn her first-ever science writing award as one of the 100 best science stories of 1986. Mark had never seen the place, so we headed up to check it all out. The Langmuir complex is actually a set of buildings connected by a walkway — and all of it nearly hidden in the trees.
A distance shot of the JOCR.

JOCR view
The Joint Observatory for Cometary Research (JOCR) atop Mt. Baldy. We were probably a mile away from it, parked at the head of North Mt. Baldy trail number 8.
A closeup view of the JOCR.

zooming in on jocr
CCP and the JOCR

We decided to hike up a little ridge to North Baldy. It was a bracing and lovely day for hiking at 10,000+ feet! It seemed like we could see for at least a hundred miles!
Mark leading the hike up on Mt. Baldy.

Mark on the hike
Carolyn on the hike

CCP on the hike
Mark during the hike

MCP resting
Rocks and flowers on Mt. Baldy.

rocks and flowers
A tree root exposed on the Mt. Baldy tundra.

The view from Mt. Baldy

the mt baldy view
A skittish forest denizen

the mt baldy deer guard
Mountains and meadows full of flowers.

flowers closeup
Closeup of wildflowers


All images Copyright 2002, Mark and Carolyn Collins Petersen