Sunday, October 07, 2007

White Sands National Monument and Trinity Test Site

Sunny at White Sands National MonumentTruc-Ha at White Sands National Monument
Truc-Ha and Sunny at White Sands National Monument

This weekend, Sunny and I took a day trip around southern New Mexico. We started by heading to the Trinity Test Site, the site of the first nuclear device explosion in the world. It was pretty anticlimactic. The whole of the original crater has since been filled in by dirt, so none of the fused sand is visible except for some pieces in a display case. There are also some historic photographs, including an aerial view of the site that includes a view of the site of the 108-ton TNT explosion they used as a calibration so that they could measure to force of the atomic detonation. These pictures were interesting, though only a brief nod was given to how devastating the force of an atomic explosion is on life and non-living structures. The picture of the sign is at the gate to ground zero. I thought the distances were interesting given that the flash was seen from Albuquerque, and windows were broken in Alamogordo during the explosion.

Distances from the Trinity Test Site

Then, we went to the White Sands National Monument and sledded on the gypsum sand dunes until we were tired, and hiked a bit. Sledding in October! Hiking in bare feet (not us, though I was tempted)! On our way back we looped through Las Cruces and drove by the future home of the nation's first spaceport. Since I'm starting a food section to my blogging efforts, I'll have to mention that La Cocina, a restaurant in the town of Truth or Consequences and one that was well reviewed in a Frommer's travel guide, was awful. Billed as New Mexican, their enchiladas and chile rellenos were awful, my prime rib was unevenly done, the Blue Moon (on tap!) lacked an orange slice, and their “authentic” New Mexican chile wasn't even hot.

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