Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vegas again!

Yesterday we made the big trip 'over the hump' to Las Vegas again.  This time it was for a kind of different reason:  we wanted to visit a museum!  Yeah, not exactly what Las Vegas is known for but they actually do have some decent cultural things.  This was the National Atomic Testing Museum.  As most people know, the US government carried on above and below ground testing of nuclear weapons in Nevada for many years.  The area that was used is known as the Nevada Test Site and is northwest of Las Vegas here in Nye County.  The southern edge is probably about 20 miles (32km) from here. 

It was an interesting place to visit; they try to cover everything from the development of the a-bomb to modern day nuclear science.  The a-bomb was, of course, developed elsewhere but after the war the government wanted to keep playing with it's new toy.  First they tried it out on some islands in the South Pacific but the commute was just too much for them and they decided to use someplace that was closer but pretty uninhabited; like Nye County, Nevada.  They did a lot of testing over the years and now are using the facility for storage of low grade nuclear waste.  We are told that this would be stuff like a pair of coveralls that were used in a nuclear facility and over time picked up a bit of radioactivity.  It works for me; the facility is out in the middle of nowhere and that stuff needs to be stored somewhere.  My only problem with the museum is that it doesn't have much focus; I mean they even had a section of the Berlin Wall and a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.  WTF has either of those things to do with Atomic Testing?

The museum had a special exhibit on Area 51 where all kinds of secret activities are supposed to have taken place from the development of the U2 aircraft to the storage of aliens from outer space.  I'm sure there were lots of secret things going on out there but the exhibit did nothing to enlighten one; it was titillating but that was about it.  Like so much in Vegas it was lots of show but no go.  You are charged extra for the exhibit and I cannot really recommend it.  Spend an hour on the internet and you will know as much or more than if you visited it.  Here are a couple of links:  for Area 51 and a map showing the location of the Test Site.

Enjoy and have a good one!

1 comment:

Croft said...

On our way home one year I left Norma and the motorhome at an intersection, unhooked the car and visited Rachel, NV near Area 51. I had a coffee in the funky little coffee shop there and stopped to photograph the famous "Black mailbox". Norma wanted nothing to do with it but I had fun!