Category: - NM&AZ 2011
Marsha in front of Albuquerque Isotopes Pacific Coast League Baseball Stadium
We have a tradition in our family of visiting stadiums [sic] in cities we visit.  This is to honor the interest Will has in all things sports.  When Will isn't around one of us (usually Marsha) steps in to fill his shoes.

The Albuquerque Isotopes got it's name from the team with the same name from the Simpsons.  To quote Wikipedia: "The fictional Springfield Isotopes from the long running TV series The Simpsons were the influence for the new name of the team. In the episode "Hungry, Hungry Homer", main character Homer Simpson attempts to thwart the team's plan to move to Albuquerque by going on a hunger strike. Subsequently, when an Albuquerque Tribune online survey helped the team decide its new name, "Isotopes" received 67 percent of the 120,000 votes. ... The "Isotopes" name is appropriate, since New Mexico has a number of well-known scientific/military facilities dealing with nuclear technology, such as Los Alamos National LaboratorySandia National Laboratories, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), as well as hosting the Trinity test."

Last night at dinner, we talked over what we could do this week.  Here's the planned itinerary that we came up with

Click to see larger image
On a previous tour to New Mexico we arrived at Acoma Pueblo too late in the day to take a tour so this time around we decided to take no chances and go early in the day.  Since Acoma has been continuously occupied since 1150 A.D. it is the oldest community in North America. Yes that is 861 years and counting.  For defensive purposes the Pueblo was built atop a 367-foot sandstone bluff.  The young Acoma man who was our guide told us the history of his people and this place with a deft combination of seriousness and humor.   In 1629 the Spanish priest and soldiers occupying the town forced the Acoma to build the Mission of San Esteban del Rey on the land that had been their sacred plaza.   The walls of the mission are two feet thick.   The ponderosa pine roof beams were carried by hand from the mountains just visible off in the distance.   The priest insisting that these poles destined for his church never touch the ground during their journey to Acoma.  He was not a nice man.

After our tour of Acoma we began our drive through the Navajo reservation to Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Chinle, Arizona.    We arrived in time to have an early dinner and drive the south rim drive 12 miles to the Spider Rock Overlook to view the late afternoon light and watch the sunset over the canyon.  We were awed by the view and are looking forward to a full day here tomorrow.

Photos of Acoma Pueblo (placeholder)