Friday, January 12, 2007

Winter Break Field Trips

N. didn't really have a winter break during the holidays because he was so focused on the Bar Mitzvah. So this week we took a "winter break" and we will be starting up with school work next week.

On Sunday and Monday, while the relatives were still here, we took two field trips.

On Sunday we went to Old Town Albuquerque. Old Town is the original village that Albuquerque once was. Here's the five cousins and Grandma at the Gazebo in the middle of Old Town Plaza.
Old Town was also the site of a little-known Civil War battle. Although New Mexico was a territory at the time, the southern half was allied with Texas and the south and the north was indifferent. Two battles took place in New Mexico, first the one in Albuquerque and then a more famous one at Glorieta Pass.

Here are the boys, N. (at left) and cousins D. (ducking) and T. (at right). N. is pretending to set off the Canon, and D. is ducking. T. is looking at the plaque.

On Monday, the cousins went to the Lobo store to get Brian Urlacher T-shirts and UNM sweatshirts. Since they are from Illinois, they got T-Shirts with the UNM Lobo and Urlacher's number on the front, and the Chicago Bears logo and Urlacher's Bear's number on the back.

After the Lobo store, we went up to Sandia Peak on the Longest Tram in the World. (No Sherpas, No Oxygen Tanks, and Dinner at the Top). Here is N. on the tram. He was a little unhappy because I made him turn around so his face would be in the picture. Fish Rock is in the upper left of the picture.

The Sandia Mountains are about 300 million years old. They rose from an epi-cratonic sea long before the Laramide Revolution raised the Colorado Plateau 65 million years ago. They are fault-block mountains
that rose due to faulting along the Great American Rift, and they tilted as they rose, so that the Albuquerque side is steep and the East Mountain side is gentle. The rock that was exposed is pink granite and the mountains are capped with Pennsylvanian limestone. The same Limestone that is a mile above Albuquerque on Sandia Peak is about a mile below the surface in the Rio Grande Valley. Here is the mountain front looking south from the Tram. In the foreground you can see pressure ridges that were created by the mountains going up.
And here is the five cousins at the top of Sandia Peak. We had the perfect day for our Tram Ride. It was perfectly clear and there was no wind. It was actually warmer at the top of the mountain than the bottom.because of the solar heating of the west-facing rock. The kids took their winter jackets off.

After coming down the mountain on the Tram, it was off for Pizza and a movie. We saw Eregon together. The perfect ending to a very good day. Next morning the cousins flew back to Illinois.

It is amazing how much was learned during the two field trips. The history of Old Town. The geology of the Sandias. And what a perfect beginning to our new unit on Earth Science.

No comments: