We took a trip to San Carlos last week. We decided to drive and to see some sites in New Mexico on the way. We spent three days in San Carlos and saw the Very Large Array, Santa Fe and Taos on the way back.
San Carlos seemed a bit busier than normal. There were more people around and several new buisinesses. We checked in at our favorite restaurants and spent a lot of time on the beach and reading. Our standard breakfast spot, Evie’s, had closed, but the others were still open.
We saw a group of dolphins our first day at the estuary. There were five or more of them and they played in the water near the beach for five or ten minutes. We have seen dolphins in the wild before, but only by taking dolphin viewing boat rides.
Seeing them by chance was strange and cool. We also saw peacocks in our neighborhood at a wedding reception. We thought they were rented for the occasion, but it turns out that family just has them as pets. Which also explains the strange sounds we sometimes hear:
The Very Large Array (as seen in Contact) is pretty neat. I didn’t know that the antennas are mobile and that they have four different configurations that they move between. It is like the zoom lens on a camera: If they put all the antennas close together they can observe a wider chunk of the sky, but if they spread out the antennas, they can get higher resolution images. Because they are using interferometry, having the antennas setup for higher resolution actually renders larger objects invisible. (Here is their description)
We also stopped in Santa Fe and Taos and saw the Rio Grande gorge bridge and the Taos Pueblo.