Monday, March 22, 2010

Equinox update

Nick and I completed our epic transcontinental adventure last Saturday (March 13), after logging almost 4,000 miles of driving from our home in Spencer, MA to Santa Fe, across 14 states and the continental divide.  As you can read in our #nfga (Nick and Fabio's Great Adventure) tweets (fed automatically to facebook), Nick and I shared the driving through great American landscapes.  Nick got his first speeding ticket in Indiana and had a very close call with a giant moose/elk in Idaho...  Memorable indeed. We managed to get 3 great days of skiing in there at Jackson Hole (Wyoming), Alta (Utah) -- which was our favorite loveliest ski destination -- and Steamboat Springs (Colorado).  We were bushed by the end of our last run and made a beeline to New Mexico to rest and relax.  We arrive Saturday March 13 at 2am.
About a foot of fresh snow was on the ground by the time the students arrived on Sunday.  What a start of the term!  It has snowed several times in this first week of the WPI spring term (Term D) here in Santa Fe -- over half a meter in all...  Gave me a chance to experience some great high-altitude outings on cross-country skis, snowshoes and a borrowed pair of powder skis. Awesome landscape, but demanding at elevations exceeding 10,000 feet (over 3,000 meters).
Today, to celebrate the vernal equinox, I figured it was appropriate to scale el Monte del Sol on snowshoes to celebrate the halfway point between the shortest and the longest day of the year, when the sun and the moon share the celestial sphere equally.  Sun mountain is one of a pair of conical peaks that offer very accessible yet grandiose views of the northern New Mexico plateau from Albuquerque to Los Alamos, Santa Fe and the Sangre de Cristo mountains where the Santa Fe Ski Area is nestled.  The twin peak in what some people have called the "wonderbra" of Santa Fe is appropriately called the Moon Mountain.  Perfect for an equinotial hike.  Inspired me to write a couple of #hikeku to honor the moment... at noon.
        This past week the two teams of WPI students were off too a great start, meeting City officials for both the St. Michael's Drive redevelopment project as well as for the Municipal Electric Infrastructure project.  The were even interviewed by the New Mexican newspaper, though the article about their projects is still in the works.  They will be interviewed again later this week.
It's great to be in Santa Fe.  It's healthy and fun.  Nick and I love it...
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