Advertisements

Daily Archives: April 2, 2010

Albuquerque…

We left Las Vegas about 7:45am heading for Albuquerque, NM, on our way to the Trinity A-Bomb Test Site on Saturday.

As I said yesterday, Trinity Site is opened to the public twice a year, on the first Saturdays in April and October. I had wanted to visit the site when I was working for NASA out at White Sands Missile Range in the early 80’s. But my schedule never matched up.

Since we were leaving early, I decided to take the shorter route over Hoover Dam. Later in the day the heavy traffic of the tourists visiting the dam would have meant a very slow trip.

This time we did have to pull over and get inspected before driving over the dam. They were curious about all the stuff in the back of our truck. But it only took about 5 minutes and we were on our way.

We found that in the last few weeks since we visited the dam with our friends Nick and Terry Russell, not much more had been done on the bridge.

Hoover Dam Bridge

I still don’t think they’re going to have this bridge finished by August as they promise.

About 5 miles past the dam, we did have a 10 minute delay due to the construction being done on the road approaches to the new bridge.

About 70 miles out of Las Vegas we passed the turn-off to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is the glass-bottom walkway built out over the Grand Canyon 4000 feet below.

GCSkywalk1

GCSkywalk2

This is something else that has been on my bucket list, and if we have time I want to visit it on the way back to Las Vegas. I’ll probably have to get Jan a little drunk to get her out on it. On second thought, maybe a LOT drunk.

We stopped off in Kingman AZ about 10 am for Starbucks Coffee and a bathroom break. Kingman is where Nick and Terry are right now, but I didn’t wanted to call and take a chance on waking them up. So I sent Nick a text message, but the cell service is so bad there that it didn’t go through until much later.

On our way toward Flagstaff we encountered a lot of snow still on the ground along the roadway.

Flagstaff Snow

And even more still on the nearby mountains.

Click to Enlarge

We got into Flagstaff about 12:30 and ate lunch at Coco’s. It was in the high 40’s there and large snow drifts were still piled up everywhere.

One of the reasons there’s still so much snow here is that the elevation is over 7000 feet. We had climbed almost a mile in altitude since we left Las Vegas this morning.

About 35 miles out of Flagstaff we passed the turn-off to Meteor Crater. We visited the crater when we were thru here two years ago. And it’s a really stunning site.

Click to Enlarge

The crater was created about 40,000 years ago when a meteor, about 150 feet in diameter, and traveling at around 30,000 mph, stuck the Arizona desert. The meteor weighed over 300,000 tons and created a crater 4000 feet in diameter and almost 600 feet deep. The rim around the crater was pushed up almost 150 feet high.

A few miles further east we drove thru Winslow AZ, as in “standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona” fame. This song, “Take it Easy” by the Eagles, is really Winslow’s only claim to fame. It’s actually a pretty run-down place since the Interstate bypassed the town. Previously, the town was a main stop on the old Route 66, but it had been all down hill since then.

Today a statue commemorates the spot and the song.

Arizona-Winslow-02

And it’s complete with a ‘flat-bed Ford”.

Arizona-Winslow-03

We tried to get up close to the spot but there is so much construction in the area that you can’t get anywhere close to it except by walking three or four blocks.

I had decided to get gas in the Winslow so I had been checking out prices. When we came off the Interstate there was a Shell station with unleaded at 3.099. Ouch.

I decided to wait a while. And I’m glad I did.

While we were at the Flying J we saw a really nice bus conversion, complete with dogs hanging out the window.

Click to Enlarge

The nameplate says it’s called ‘OLROVER”

After stopping for a bathroom break at a Petro Truck Stop about 80 miles outside of Albuquerque, we arrived at our Holiday Inn about 7:30pm.

After having dinner at the hotel restaurant, we turned in for the night. We want to get an early start tomorrow.

More from Trinity Site tomorrow…

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: