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Shiprock

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Published on Jul 19, 2009

Shiprock, like Devils tower is an extinct volcanic plug. Its in the very North West of New Mexico and rises about half a mile out of the plane and is visible for about a hundred miles away.


Friday 17th July 2009-07-17
Up about 6ish, picked up a mcdonalds for breakfast. Topped up the gas and on down to shiprock. Got to the close viewpoint near where the road crosses the intrusion about 8.30. Shot gun shells, and empty beer bottles everywhere. Still figures before 9 would be okay. Really should have been here just after dawn (about 6 ish). One car stopped while I was setting up and made me nervous, but when they left it looked like they were an old couple. Then when I was in the air (near perfect conditions) what looked like a police car turned up. Hmmm for it now I thought, but they were appeared more interested in watching me fly. On landing disaster! I forgot to put the memory card back in, AG! Charged the battery again, and the wind got up a little, but still V. good conditions. Second flight went well, some good footage. By the time I had landed the police had gone. Went for a third flight cos the conditions were so good. On my way again just before 9. Briefly stopped at gallup but failed to find wifi. On thinking some, decided to go long way around to VLA, via Socorro.
Road back to Socorro from Albuquerque bought back many fond memories of my childhood. Very emotional. Similarly driving around Socorro at out old house. Socorro is virtually unchanged, and its amazing, given the number of places that Ive lived in that this is one of the few addresses I remember. Thunderstorms around but the sunset was phenomenal. Went to see P and K, but there was noone home. Picked up some cowboy wifi and uploaded a video. By then it was full dark and decided to head on to VLA. GPS took me by a v. strange route, (essentially on the footpaths of campus). The disaster, the cars from wheel went over one of the monster curbs they have here and was utterly stuck. Amazing how a few inches and ones whole venture can be reduced to nought! Was starting to inspect the problem when a campus security man (v. friendly) asked me if I needed any help. I gladly accepted. We salvated a palate out of the skip, and with the jack of my car made a ramp. Looked hopeful, but not enough pressure on tire, still just spinning (burning rubber too!) on the differential. Security map called up a buddy of his, and we more or less jointly decided that three of us could lift a car like this up the couple of inches (especially with the ramp made of wood and a car jack. First push looked good, but the old security man syncroized us with a second effort and it freed the car!!! Unfortuanatly the plan had not been greatly thought through and the car rolled back over one of my tool boxes (making a loud crunching sound). The only real victim was my old palm zire. No real financial loss, and the security man was very apologetic (I think he was having thoughts about the land of the litigious). I expressed to him that it was I who was exceptionally grateful. Maybe I could have done it alone, but with their help it was a done deal. The loss of the zire, was in no way his fault, nor would I ever hold a man responsible for such a loss who only had it in his mind to honestly help. Turns out it wasnt entirely lost too! While the screen was utterly ****ed, when I plugged in the USB it all seemed to work okay. DLed the software to sync up the zire and was very grateful to get the data off (it has all my passwords on it. That would have been the real loss) before it utterly died. On resetting it the on/off button seemed to work again. After that drove around till I found a high curb I could mount the car on to inspect for damage under the car. (the road out to the VLA goes a long way into nowhere and its not something any sane man should try with a mechanically challenged car). Looked okay on the underside although it was clearly visible where the engine had hit the curb and rested on it. Happy that the car was in reasonable condition I headed out to the VLA in the dark. Tstorms all around. Very tired by time reached VLA overlook. Had missed the turning for the VLA and decided to take a nap. Woke up with the dawn! ;-)

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