Discovering the surroundings
From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki
I'm especially interested in Nat. Parks and Nat. Monuments - they are just the best! I've an 'America the Beautiful' pass, which allows me (and the whole car I'm in) to visit each Park without fees. So if somebody is interested, just write it in here. I'd prefer White Sands, Petriefied Forest or Badlands. But I'm open for everything (how about Alaska? ;-)) - Ruben
Nish is planning on visiting White Sands, Carlsbad and perhaps the Grand Canyon (about 7 hours for the last one). I also could drive back up to Canyonlands if folks are interested. I'm told we have a full moon in two weeks, which is when I would like to visit White Sands. I'm guessing that makes the third weekend for the Grand Canyon... I have room for 4 more in my car, although it might be a little tight. Feel free to put your name here if you'd like to tag along.
I'd like to come with you to White Sands. I've been to the Grand Canyon, and the Carlsbad Caverns are pretty far away, so this things maybe not. -Ruben
Nish (+3), Justin (+3), Kolbjørn (+6)
Sonja, Giovanni, Dirk, Rob, Flávia, Antony, Jiang, Francois, Riley, Ana, Peter, Jean, Jeremie, Petr, Ruben, Paul
Nish's car: Sonja, Petr, Ruben
Kolbjørn's van: Ana, Jean, Peter
Since the van Kolbjørn rented only seats an additional 6, we will need to rent one more car (or another van?).
If you're interested in going, add yourself to the list above (updating the number appropriately) by Wednesday evening at the latest.
Leave Friday afternoon after Mitch Waldrop's lecture. It is a 4.5 hour drive from Santa Fe to White Sands, meaning we should be in the Las Cruces area for dinner.
I have two cabins (all they have) reserved here. Each cabin sleeps 4 (however, some could presumably sleep on the floor). Regardless, we'll need at least one motel/hotel room in Alamogordo and I've booked two double rooms at the Motel 6. If someone has camping gear, I can also reserve a campsite (we'd obviously need to bring tents, etc) if folks want me to (and I can cancel one of the two hotel rooms (before Friday) if that is the case).
Given that summer temperatures in White Sands approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I think we should be sensible about hiking and the like. Maybe do the White Sands drive (8 miles one way) in the morning and one or two of the short trails. Then hang out in town or somewhere local during mid-day and return to White Sands for a few more hikes in the late afternoon and for sunset/moonrise. For those that would like to stay in the park during the day, we can split up by car or something.
Although I had mentioned going to Carlsbad Caverns, it's a 4 hour drive (through Texas! [TEXAS!!!! YEHAAAAAA!!!! :-) (Ruben)], so I'm unlikely to actually do it.