I left Arizona and have now made it across New Mexico and half of the Texas panhandle. I-40 parallels Route 66 through this area so even though I’m not on that road I’m passing through the same towns, most of which still embrace their Mother Road history with many hotels and quirky tourist traps from that era, and of course plenty of memorabilia.
I feel like the land is getting progressively flatter and emptier as I go. Still looking forward to trees.
I woke up at 5:30 one morning to a nearly complete lunar eclipse that I had totally forgotten about.
I’m always surprised by how many abandoned buildings there are on the plains. Maybe it’s just because they’re out there in the open, not hidden by plant growth, but they seem to be everywhere. Trespassing has never been something that bothered me much, but these places always feel so exposed I can never bring myself to explore them. I get questioned by the police often enough as it is.
The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan
This was a fascinating look into the sudden rise of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the everyday lives of its residents. The town grew up around the nuclear enrichment factories that were part of the Manhattan Project, an organization so secretive that most of the workers had no idea what they were actually working on. Many of them were women out on their own for the very first time. The stories were a little heavy on the women noticing how many single men there were around them, but I guess if that was what was going on, that was what was going on. Amongst the experiences of the female employees and their feelings about the work they were doing, Kiernan does a good job of explaining the history and science behind the rise of the Manhattan Project and its role in World War II.
“And if you got your M voltage up and your G voltage up, then Product would hit the birdcage in the E box at the top of the unit and if that happened, you’d get the Q and R you wanted. It was that simple.” – they seriously had NO IDEA what they were working on.
Crossed Off the Travel Map: