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Contact: Norma Pineda, 505-847-2585 ext 221
Four fun, free events are planned for Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument this April. The first is a talk by Dr. Rick Hendricks titled Claunch, New Mexico: Before, During, and After. The presentation is a partnership between the Torrance County Archaeological Society, the Manzano Mountain Art Council and Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. The talk will be at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 4, at the Manzano Mountain Art Council building at the intersection of Highway 60 and Highway 55 in the middle of Mountainair.
Then, on Saturday, April 8, Ranger Murt Sullivan will conduct a moonlight hike at Quarai. The gate will stay open at 5:00 and the hike will assemble at the Quarai Visitor Center at 7:00. Three days before the actual full moon and one day after the opposition of Jupiter, the night sky should be interesting, but the focus will be on the history, the ruins, trying to view some wildlife and maybe telling some paranormal stories. The monument will close at 9:00 pm.
Saturday, April 15 will be a dawn entry opportunity for Quarai. The gates will be open at 6:30 am for birders, photographers and anybody who just wants to enjoy Quarai at dawn. Ranger Murt Sullivan will lead a bird hike for those interested. The monument is normally open at 9:00 am.
Earth Day is Saturday, April 22. The Lyrid Meteor Shower will be near the peak of activity. The Albuquerque Astronomical Society will be co-hosting an Astronomy Program at Quarai from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Heavenly bodies such as planets will be viewed through telescopes. The solar system, the galaxy, and the universe will be discussed and constellations identified.
March events at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument included a dawn entry opportunity at Quarai on March 18 and the weather was perfectly cooperative. A well-attended Astronomy Program was held at Gran Quivira on March 24, led by Geoff Goins, Park Ranger from Bandelier National Monument and featuring costumed living history presentations by Rangers Dixie Boyle and Donna Deiner of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.