Friday, September 25, 2015

Road Trip - Los Alamos, NM

Vintage photo of the Los Alamos Main Gate
Los Alamos is the town our government built in New Mexico to create the first Atomic Bomb during World War 2. Originally the Los Alamos Ranch School for boys founded by Ashley Pond II, the land was bought in 1942, the people relocated and the scientists moved in.
Secrecy was paramount, with all mail sent through a Post Office box number in Santa Fe.  Even drivers licenses were filled in with the Santa Fe address and a number for the name. The entrance was gated and guarded at all times.
Today, Los Alamos is still the home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory which sits on the mesa to the south of town. Busy and secretive, it is still the government at work on things they don't want us to know about.
The town itself is small, with no big-box stores, probably due to the land area being already filled in. We passed the High School and Library, the Aquatic Center and the Senior Center and lots of homes. A small town, it is full of modern history and stories of technical conquest.
We toured the Fuller Lodge and the Los Alamos Museum next door and the ancient Pueblo on the lawn beside it, behind bath house row. A little known detail that I liked about the Ranch School was they required each boy to become a First Class Boy Scout to graduate.
We also saw the Bradbury Science Museum which has full sized models of the Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and watched a film about it.
While the Atomic bomb was developed here, it was detonated at the Trinity site 220 miles south near Socorro, NM.  That is another site for me to see.
Right across from the Post Office on Central Avenue is a strip center with the finest fresh bagel and sandwich shop I have ever enjoyed.  Save room for a meal at my friend Ruby K's Bagel Cafe.
Los Alamos is about 45 miles from Santa Fe.  Go north on US 285 and 84 NM 502, go left (west) and follow the signs to town.

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