July 30, 2010

Evening In West Yellowstone

As evening sets over West Yellowstone, Marlon took this picture out of the IMAX window.

To be continued...

July 28, 2010

Virginia City & Nevada City, Montana

Today we ventured about 85 miles away to visit the two "living history" towns of Virginia City and Nevada City, Montana. Virginia City has 100 historic buildings while Nevada City has 14 historic buildings original to the site and over 100 other historic buildings saved from all over Montana which are a part of its living history museum.

We won't be getting any gas at the Virginia City gas station today.

The Thompson-Hickman Museum contains some interesting items.

One such item is George Lane's club foot. An attempt at locating the graves of five road agents was successful because the searchers knew one had a club foot.

This century-old birthday cake was baked in 1899.

This mummified cat crawled under a house as it was being built in 1868.

The Nevada City Music Hall houses the largest public collection of automated music machines in North America.

The valuable collection of music machines is astounding.

This is the largest RCA dog we have seen guards over the collection.

Be sure to bring plenty of change. Many of these machines are still in working condition. The cost to get them started ranges from just one nickel to one dollar.

Both Nevada City and Virginia City have been used as locations in many movies and television shows.

If you need a place to stay, the Nevada City Hotel still rents out rooms.

The second floor of the hotel has a museum showing the hotel as it was in the past.

The hotel has its own two-story outhouse!

The two towns are about a mile and a half apart and are connected by road or train. We both traveled the road and rode the train.

It looks like the engineer is facing the wrong direction.

Need a haircut? This was Virginia City's thinnest building.
This is the barber shop's exterior.

Many of Virginia City's building are set up to look like the did in the 1800's. Here is the grocery store.
Candice and Doug direct traffic in downtown Virginia City.
Look... it's the Beverly Hillbillie's car.
A view of Virginia City from Boot Hill Cemetery.
These are the graves of the five road agents buried on Boot Hill.
For more pictures, click here .

To be continued...

July 26, 2010

Arco and Craters of the Moon National Monument

After visiting EBR-1 we moved on to Arco, Idaho and Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Arco was the first city in the world to be powered by nuclear power.

On the hillside of Arco, the dates of all the high school graduating classes are displayed.


It is fitting that just 18 miles from Idaho National Laboratories, you can find a submarine sticking out of the ground.

In fact, the USS Hawkbill is a nuclear-powered submarine decommissioned in 2001. Since the Cold War, nearly 40,000 sailors have been trained at nearby prototype power plants.

A memorial commemorating how many submarines have been lost was erected in 2004.

This was the first launch of the Hawkbill.

This type of container is used to transport low-level nuclear waste.

Overall view of the park which has a small Visitor Center.

Here is a reminder of how meth is everywhere, not just in large cities. We often see billboards and other things such as this trailer telling everyone the dangers of getting hooked on it.

Our next stop was Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Upon entering Craters of the Moon, you will see its unique campground.

Looks like some of the pictures you would see of the moon...hence, its name.

See the people at the top? Time to hike up.

A view looking back at the car.
A great view of the park from the top.

Temperatures on the rocks can get as high as 150 degrees in the summer. Thankfully, the sun was not out today.

Looking down into this spatter cone reveals a much cooler place. Snow leftovers from the winter.

Remember the land rover pictures from the moon?

This path leads us to five different caves open for explorers.

Four of the caves require flashlights and extra batteries, this being one of them. Unfortunately, our flashlight had NO batteries, good or otherwise.
The Indian Tunnel is a cave you CAN explore without a flashlight.
An opening at the top of the tunnel is a great place for a picture.

No rush hour out here.
The sunset gives one more picture for the night.
For more pictures, click here .

To be continued...

EBR-1 - The First Nuclear Power Plant

The sign says it all for this area.

The Idaho National Laboratory covers over 900 square miles.

We made it to EBR-1, the world's first nuclear power plant.

EBR-1 means Experimental Breeder Reactor. This reactor made history when, on December 20, 1951, it produced usable amounts of electricity. Located off highway 20/26 18 miles from Arco, Idaho, EBR-1 became a National Landmark on August 26, 1966.

To see more information on the reactor, click
here .

This map details the 900 square mile area where they build the test reactors.

Here are some facts about the reactor.

Doug stands on the reactor.

This is the turbine that created electricity from the steam produced by the reactor.

These maps show where commercial nuclear power plants were located as of 1999.

For those with the right mindset, here is an illustration of the evolution of the reactor.
Where does one store fuel for the reactor? Right here, of course.

Marlon tries out the robotic arms.

If you ever see one of these, don't open it. These containers are used to move nuclear waste by truck.

Inside the reactor's control room.

Remind you of a movie?

This is what a current day nuclear control room looks like.
Remember when you used to have to change the channels by hand?
An aerial view of EBR-1

The next two pictures are nuclear powered bomber engines that never flew.

For more pictures, click here pictures 1-110.

To be continued...