Today we drove over to New Mexico Tech to visit the New Mexico Mineral Museum:
The sample in the center is Trinitite, which is fused sand formed by the Trinity nuclear bomb test:
Big chunks of gold and silver:
These mineral samples have not been altered. They are as they were found:
The radioactive display:
We drove north and east to Abo Pueblo, one of three sites managed by Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument:
Spanish Franciscan monks came here from Mexico in the 1580s to convert the Puebloan Indians who lived here. In the 1620s the mission at Abo was built:
To persuade the local Indians to help in the construction of the mission, The monks told the local Indians that the new mission would include a Kiva for Indian rituals. Once the mission was completed, the “Kiva” was used as a garbage pit:
Droughts and Apache Raids (in retribution for Spanish slave-capturing raids against the Apache) caused the Salinas Pueblos to be abandoned around 1670:
The kids completed the Junior Ranger workbook sections dealing not only with Abo Pueblo, but also Quarai Pueblo and Grand Quivira Pueblo, and the section for the main visitor center in Mountainair, so they received all four location ribbons for their badges:
We drove on to visit the main visitor center in Mountainair. The rear wheel was sitting a little funny, and after a bit of investigation I found that the rear leaf spring hanger had broken. The part indicated by the arrow had broken off the frame of the RV:
The rear leaf spring more or less stayed put because it’s attached to the equalizer in front, and the axle is attached on the other side to the other leaf spring with the intact equalizer and rear hanger. Nonetheless, we needed to get the broken off hanger pieces welded back on without too much driving.
I asked the ranger in the visitor center about local welders, and she asked the other ranger for direction. The other ranger is a coach at the local high school, and he called the shop teacher, Mr. E. Mr. E. happens to be a certified welder, and he asked us to drive over to the high school. We crawled our way from the visitor center to the high school, hoping everything held together. We arrived successfully:
I disconnected the ground wire from the battery to protect the electronics in the RV from damage from the electrical current imposed on the frame by the welding:
Mr. E. used an angle grinder to prep the frame and the broken parts for welding:
I jacked up the frame to unload the equalizer so the rear leaf spring could slide into place. Mr. E simultaneously pulled a chain tightly around the rear axle to encourage it into place:
Mr. E did an amazing job and we were ready to get back on the road! Thanks so much for your help, and it was a pleasure to meet your students!
We drove on from Mountainair to arrive at Michelle’s flying field and wing shop, where my wing will be repaired. See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.