Left the HIE about 7:45 for Aztec. With traffic and stops for gas & a Coke, reached Aztec Ruins National Monument. This was a Chacoan settlement along the Animas River, settled around 1000 AD & abandoned by 1300, and has nothing to do with the Aztecs. The ruins are partially excavated and conserved (restored/reinforced as needed) . The museum is well-interpreted and the self-guided tour is excellent. We took lots of photos, trying to show what it looks like (and incidentally maybe getting an art shot or two).
When we left the National Monument, we drove by the Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village. Wonderful, it was open! We thought it didn't open until 10 AM. This museum had a feline tour guide on our first visit in 2004, and she was queen of the museum the next time we stopped; alas, she is no longer remembered. In addition to the pioneer town and oil drilling displays, it possesses a unique item - a hand carved, rotating cyclorama of the West. Worth a stop!
Split a Green Chile Cheesburger at the Cuban Cafe (in Cuba) and arrived at Bernalillo about 2 PM. A quick laundry and off to Albuquerque to take our friend Larry Harrah to supper at the Frontier Restaurant, an Albuquerque/UNM institution that he had never visited. It's good! Then back to Bernalillo thru a thunderstorm (why do we seem to drive through more hail in NM that back in MO?).
235 miles on the day, 2838 on the trip. Tomorrow it's sightseeing in Albuquerque.