Monthly Archives: May 2010

Quarai Mission at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

In a previous post in my Photo Feathers blog I wrote about attending the program for International Migratory Bird Day at Quarai Ruins at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. After the morning birding excursion Bosque Bill and I decided to explore the Quarai Mission ruins.

At one time  Native American trade communities of Tiwa and Tomprino-speaking Puebloans inhabited this part of New Mexico. In the early 17th century, Spanish Fransicans built missions in the area.  By the late 1670’s the area was largely abandoned because of drought.  What remains today are the ruins of the mission church and surrounding structures at Quarai and the ruins of two other mission churches at Abó and Gran Quivira.

Here are some photos of the mission church at Quarai and of the area surrounding the mission:

Quarai Mission, view of the entrance

Entrance to Quarai Mission Ruins

Looking back toward the entrance to Quarai Mission

Detail of window over the entrance

I lost Bosque Bill in the labyrinth of rooms on one side of the ruins.

Side view of Quarai Mission ruins.

Partially excavated living areas adjacent to Quarai Mission

A view of Quarai Mission ruins in the distance.

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is a beautiful park in a beautiful park of New Mexico. In addition to the ruins, there are museums, birding, hiking with breathtaking view and lovely places to picnic. It is a wonderful place to visit.

Indian Paintbrush

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Tour of the Gila-The Men’s Pro Criterium

At last the event arrived for which we’d traveled to Silver City–the Men’s Pro Criterium. We worked our way through the densely packed crowd to the starting line just in time to see the start. We walked around the course and watched the race. This is what we saw:

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This is an interesting article on the Tour of the Gila’s tattooed podium girl.

I also made a short video of the criterium racing around the courthouse turn. Click 720p for HD video. Best watched in full screen mode.

Next post: A fond farewell to the Gila.

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Tour of the Gila 2010–Lance Armstrong Arrives

After watching the earlier criterium races and stopping for some truly excellent Gelato at Alotta Gelato, we noticed a crowd gathering at the northeast corner of the criterium route. As Team Mellow Johnny’s parked their motor home in that location last year, I thought perhaps I should wander over and see if anything exciting was happening. There were some very attractive bikes propped against the side of the RV.

Lovely Trek bikes

Before too long Johan Bruyneel came out of the RV, conferred with staff and chatted briefly with some of the people in the waiting crowd.

Johan flashes a smile at the crowd

The door to the motor home opened, and team Radio Shack Mellow Johnny’s emerged.

Lance emerges from the motor home

When Lance emerged from the motor home, the crowd reacted as if he were a rock star.  Lance spoke to several people in the crowd and signed many autographs.

Signing autographs

And he showed off his famous smile.

Showing off the smile

While Lance held the attention of the crowd, Levi quickly jumped on his bike and rode to the starting line, giving us all a good look at his red leader’s jersey.

The GC leader shows off his red jersey

After interacting with the crowd for about 10 minutes, Lance too jumped on his bike and headed to the criterium starting line.

And it's off to the race



Next post: The race!

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Tour of the Gila 2010-Criterium in Downtown Silver City

The weather for the 2010 Tour of the Gila was less than ideal–strong winds, cold weather, even snow in the final mountain stage, unusual for May. Downtown Silver City was humming with excitement when I arrived. Silver City’s historic downtown still shows a great of its Old West charm, with buildings and streets from the days when bars of silver were stacked neatly on curbsides, waiting for assay or delivery out of town. On the day of the criterium the streets were lined with excited spectators.

The morning events had been the lower category women’s and men’s races. The citizens’ races started in the afternoon. Then came the children’s races, and the crowd cheered enthusiastically for all the children in the races.

An exciting finish for the 3 & 4-year-old girls

After the citizens’ races came the women’s Pro 1/2 race. The women raced hard and fast.

The start of the women's criterium

Women pro racers stream past the attractive historic buildings in Silver City, NM

Women racers fly around a turn in the criterium

Racers fly down the hill after making the turn by the courthouse

The winner of the Women’s pro 1/2 criterium was Shelley Evans. It was a fast and an exciting race to watch.

Walking around the course taking photos, I got a good look at the very attractive Grant County Courthouse.

Grant County Courthouse

I also enjoyed taking photos of some of the plants and flowers in the area:

Prickly Pear Cactus

Yucca in full bloom

After the women’s race it was time for the Men’s Pro Race. Next post: Guess who was in Silver City for the Gila Monster?

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Tour of the Gila 2010

When I learned a week ago that Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer would return to the Tour of the Gila this year I immediately began making plans to return to watch the race as I’d had a wonderful time in Silver City in 2009. Friday morning was very cold, and the cold soon turned to snow, or rather to graupel, which is quite unusual for the end of April. After a pleasant drive to Silver City, we set up the 5th wheel at the KOA and began to make plans to watch the criterium race on Saturday in downtown Silver City. In anticipation of tomorrow’s events, here are some photos from last year:

Lance Armstrong rides through the streets of Silver City, NM

Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong in Mellow Johnny's kit

Lance Armstrong takes a tight turn at speed at the Tour of the Gila criterium

Lance Armstrong races in the Tour of the Gila criterium

The peleton speeds by as the excited crowd at the Tour of the Gila watches

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