Wild atomic West
In the edge of the bomb crowded. Parents with children, chewing on the move of hot dogs, begged the glass crumb, in which the sand melted at the nuclear explosion. In souvenir kiosks for sale T-shirts with an image of an atomic mushroom. Nearby family spreads a large checkered tablecloth: a picnic is planned. "Well, I don’t have any radiation?" – joking girl posing in front of the camera. The nuclear landfill in the New Mexico State Desert, where on July 16, 1945, the test explosion of the first atomic bomb thundered, became a popular tourist attraction.
This polygon is the final point on "nuclear trail", The tourist route of 1600 kilometers long, stretching from the Mexican border to the state of Wyoming along the federal motorway 1-25. Once here they went through the Desert Spanish conquistadors, and in the 1940s it is not so far from the highway Laboratory is located, where Robert Oppenheimer built his superb. Until now, everything is full of certificates of long and passionate novel America with a bomb. In the thematic park White Sands Missile Range exhibited high-tech murder guns – nuclear bombs and rockets. They are completely small, they can be touched, like toys in the store. And they have completely familiar names: "Starina John", And even at all "Womanizer". True, these trinkets look like "Cold War" Like alien cacti, suddenly grew in the middle of the desert. Maybe it really spouse disputes listed here by aliens, whose flying saucer, according to eyewitnesses, landed in 1947, nearby, in the town of Roswell?
An hour’s drive from Albuquerque – the adorable city of Santa Fe with coffee-colored brick houses and idyllic streets on which the flowers smell. Good place: delicious food in restaurants, cozy hotels. Physics – nuclear keys worked in the team of Oppenheimer, especially loved La Fonda. In the Hall of hotels decorated with an elegant mosaic, they met to discuss the details of the project, and even relax – not all the way to work on the end of the world. A flat below the street was located in which the scientist Claus Fuchs had recalled the Soviet Union of American Nuclear Secrets.
In the 40s, when instead of Highway, there was only a dirty trail, leaving the distance, to the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, these places were really a lost world. Although they were familiar with the Oppenheimer from childhood – he also rode the boy here on Velik, and then he brought here a few dozen geniuses from all over the world, which turned the word "Hiroshima" In a nightmare for eternal times.
Next small tidy town Los Alamos, at every corner church. Infinitely far from any nuclear horror horror, although at the crossroads of Oppenheimer’s streets and the Trinity about them difficult to forget. In nuclear laboratories, which are now working in the city, tourists are not allowed, but in the Scientific Museum, Ray Bradbury, where copies are exhibited "Fatty" and "Kid" – bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – please.
Again on the road. The motorway climbs all the above, the rocky mountains are shine in the West. In Colorado Springs, another important monument of the Cold War, the Center for Operational Management "Chain". Mountain tunnel leads to the bunker of the early warning system of the rocket attack, as if taken from the movie about James Bond. From the local computers, no object will be tested, suddenly rising in orbit, whether it is a nuclear missile or a simple screwdriver. The command center, built after the Caribbean crisis, is simultaneously bomb shelter, and the hospital, and the supermarket. The complex is canned, but on the first order is ready to get out of the hibernation.
After Denver, the track 1-25 goes past the Rocky Flatz – the plant on which weapon plutonium was produced. The plant was closed by order of the FBI in 2002, but so far here is one of the highest levels of radioactivity in the world. Closer to Wyoming the road descends into infinite, empty prairies, but written off ballistic missiles "Minitmen", which are exhibited at the Gate of the Air Base Warren, unequivocally remind who belong to these expanses. However, on fenced areas in size with a tennis court, there are also real starting mines: under the concrete caps are hidden missiles, fully ready for launch. From the side looks pretty innocent, only here on the fence plates: "Protection has the right to shoot".
This is a place where the tourist attraction is strangely mixed with reality. The farmer, next to the ranch of which is one of the launchers, says: "It’s like if the tiger lives in your basement. In principle, ok, but suddenly he will come to mind to dine?"
Closer to rockets
Polygon, where the first bomb was tested, is open to visit twice a year – in the first Saturday of October and the first Saturday of April. You need to drive through the northern login for US 380. You can join the excursion group that leaves at 8 am from Alamogordo, 128 km from the landfill.