Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Going Nuclear in Idaho

Up bright and early, still on east coast time in body and mind. While planning the trip the objective was to make sure we are in before dusk, so we are not infringing on the critters play time on the roads, thus I had us leaving real early, I really didn't consider the critters like dawn as well. Adjustments are needed.

This morning we will be back tracking 30 miles to Craters of the Moon, but there is this place right in the middle of Arco that must be visited. It's like the missile in Warren, NH. This was the first reference going nuclear in Idaho. This is the Roadside America's the Devil Boat, Submarine in the Desert. The numbers on the sub are real. This was the fast-attack nuclear submarine USS Hawkbill (SSN-666). (all pics are clickable and can be enlarged)

Next we head south to the Craters of the Moon National Monument. We watched the video before riding around on the park loop road. Craters is a huge lava flow that is pristine from an geological point of view. We also took a walk out to one of the bat caves. I have found the knees can take the walk, now I have to work on the rest of the parts of the body.

It's really hard to convey the beauty of this place thru my camera. Gotta be the camera and not the shooter right ?

Back on the road with the wind. I had to list the bike to the left to keep going straight. Did I mention these roads are straight, if not they are. Next nuclear event is Experimental Breeder Reactor 1. Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) is a decommissioned research reactor and U.S. National Historic Landmark located in the desert about 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Arco, Idaho. At 1:50 pm on December 20, 1951 it became the world's first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it produced sufficient electricity to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs. It subsequently generated sufficient electricity to power its building, and continued to be used for experimental purposes until it was decommissioned in 1964. (thank you Wikipedia)

The core

One of the original bulbs they powered up.

Back onto the windy road and heading for Yellowstone. We finally got a break being on the straight and wide when we turned onto ID 31 heading up the Tetons. The elevation changed as well.

The straight and wide

At least there was a reason to lean right and left

Into to Jackson, WY for lunch at a BBQ joint

A collection of antlers

A view of the Tetons

Entering Yellowstone. What surprised the heck out of us, we owned Yellowstone. The traffic was really light we could go as fast as we wanted but we kept the speeds down to enjoy the view.

Owning the road

What we learned last year, there are a ton of elk, moose, bison, and deer in the park. While we didn't rush thru we didn't particularly dilly dally. Stopped a couple of places for some scenery.

The last stop was right around 7pm and while the sun is still out it, it is dropping fast. We came up on one stop and the traffic is stopped and gathering. Having been stopped for more than a couple of moments, I figured there must of been some animals up ahead. Sure enough a herd of bison comes walking up the road. On the inside of the pack is a calf, protected by the huge bison. She or he was snorting away, jumping and bumping the other bisons. When he/she was about 40' from us, looking pissed, starts to head right for us. Damn damn damn, another one of these fuckers are gonna take us out again. Closer and closer, me shaking at this point, too late to dismount, we just stood there waiting for the impact. Snorting louder and louder, she/he is looking right into the fear in our eyes, he/she turns away from us. Thank you thank you thank you. MeAsWe thought she had captured the whole thing on video, but she forgot to press the start button.

Throttle up to use up the last remaining light of the day and got to West Yellowstone, MT. Grabbed Montana for Smoke Chaising 2011 and headed into the barn.

1 comment:

Runner said...

You had me nervous for you, reading about the bison heading toward you. Whew!!