Day 76 - More Underground Stuff

Trip Start May 19, 2008
Trip End Nov 08, 2008

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Where I stayed
Brantley Lake State Park

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Saturday, August 2, 2008

It was already HOT when we woke, the kind of heat that makes it uncomfortable to make the slightest movements, so we decided to take it easy and just "chill out" at the camp site and spend another night there.

So the day was just spent reading, eating, blogging and snoozing. A really lazy day. In the afternoon the camp host came around to let us know that there would be a ranger talk with a guest speaker that evening. We decided to go along and see what it was all about. He also told us to watch for rattlesnakes, particularly after dark as they had been spotted darting out from the bushes onto the paths to catch mice, and in fact his dog was just recovering from a rattlesnake bite!

The talk began at 8 pm and was far more interesting than we had expected. We had seen a site on our map, about 25 miles east of Carlsbad, marked "Waste Isolation Pilot Plant". It transpired that this was a pilot project for the isolation of mid-grade military nuclear waste underground, and the guy giving the talk was the Principal Engineer/Geologist. We learned a lot of interesting facts and a lot of scary statistics, not just regarding this project but about other nuclear tests that had been conducted in New Mexico and also in Colorado. Maybe we'll be glowing in the dark soon!

The talk lasted about two hours by which time it was pitch black, and not having anticipated such a late finish we didn't have a torch with us. So a very tense sprint back to the bus ensued, followed by another nail-biting trip to the shower block and back with our not so adequate torch. It could turn out to be quite useful glowing in the dark!

Miles travelled: 0

Total miles travelled: 6737

Days on road: 56

States visited: 11

National Parks visited: 11
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