Saturday, April 30, 2011

Los Alamos and Bandelier

As we prepared for our Friday and the extremely strong winds that were forecast for us (sustained winds at 30-40, gusts at 60-65mph), we pulled our two slides in to make us less of a target while we were gone for the day.  Our destination this morning was Los Alamos--about an  hour from our park and quite a nice drive.  

As probably all of you know, the "Manhattan Project" was developed here and really was a big deal to the physicists and their families to move here.  They were notified of their "offer" via mail with no information about the job or location.  One man stated:  "who wouldn't take the offer of an unknown job at an unknown location for an unknown amount of time?"  They took over a boys "ranch school" that had been built in 1928 at Los Alamos and was a well-built series of log buildings providing schooling for 40+ high school-age boys from the well-to-do eastern families.  There were many well known graduates, including the brother of Lady Bird Johnson, Gore Vidal, and Presidents of Quaker Oats and Sears.   They focused on the "complete young man" which included community service, horsemanship, athletics, and a unique approach to education based on what they knew when the boys came to the school. 

Apparently the boys had one "official" chance to court the ladies during the school  year when they hosted a dance for the young ladies from a girls' school not far away.  The girls arrived in full formal attire and the boys received them in their usual shorts, green shirt, etc as their boy scout basis dictated!

The Bandelier National Park was well done and provided  us an opportunity to see the remains of the cliff dwellers caves and the pueblos of Tyuonyi--quite a large pueblo-- the area eventually was home to 500+ people.  This 1 1/2 mi trail was easy with some climbs into the actual cliff dwellings--how small!  Claustrophobia! 

Coming back the ole moho was a windy trip and when we got back to the ranch we were assaulted with wind.  At the cliff dwellings it was like being sandblasted with sand and grit so that you have it in your teeth, hair and painfully in the eyes.  Exhausting!  We definitely feel like Judy Garland in the scene where she tries to lift the cellar door but it blows back and she is unable to move it!  Not to diminish the suffering and anguish of the people involved in the awful tornadoes sweeping the south, we can't imagine how devasatating that must be.  Ours is only a small taste of that. 

We were rockin and rollin in our RV for dinner prep and listening to the Mariners game...well, Boston, take that!!  We still can't seem to get in  touch with the guy that was to order our stabilization part for us in Colorado Springs; and of course won't hear until Monday now.  In any event it looks like we will head that way next week, assuming weather and winds comply.  Happy Weekend!

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