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The Things We Learn on the Road

Posted by on October 14, 2009
I took very few pictures on this leg of our journey. And, the ones I did take were of the moon rising.  It was quite impressive.

I took very few pictures on this leg of our journey. And, the ones I did take were of the moon rising. It was quite impressive.

One of the many benefits having internet on-the-go (via our phones and our MiFi), is the ability to have instantaneous answers to our questions we have while traveling.  For example, on our way to pick up the Airstream in April, we noticed what appeared to be a decommissioned tunnel named Memorial Tunnel, just off the interstate in West Virginia.  The tunnel piqued our curiosity, so we looked it up and learned that it is now the Center for National Response, a testing and training facility for emergency response.  According to the Center’s website, there is a subway station setup, a highway incident scene, illicit drug laboratories, and more!  Is this not fascinating?!?

We’ve also learned that in Beaumont, Texas, after the discovery of oil, the town’s population grew from 9,000 in January, 1901 to 30,000 in March, 1901.  Can you imagine that kind of population growth in such a short amount of time?

We’ve been highly entertained by the facts learned from our travels.  See a strange building off in the distance?  An old town that now appears ghost-like? Or, just curious about the town through which you are driving?  Just do a Google search and you will be surprised (and amused) at what you learn.

It's impressive...right?

It's impressive...right?

After Moab, we spent a night at a Wal-Mart in Grand Junction, Colorado, dined on delicious Thai food (twice…apparently we had been suffering from withdrawal) and made a much-needed visit to the Verizon store to get a new phone for Chris.  From Grand Junction, we made our way to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Along the way, we discovered a fascinating fact about a town called Parachute, Colorado.  The drilling occurring near the town intrigued Chris so he asked I do a little research.  A quick Google search revealed to us that Parachute was the location of Project Rulison, the site of a 1969 gas stimulation nuclear test. That’s right…they detonated a nuclear bomb underground and we were driving near or maybe even over the site where it occurred.  The project was part of a program “that promoted using the energy produced from nuclear explosions for peaceful uses and applications.”  Check out the Department of Energy page on this project .  Today, the site remains in the local news as many drillers are proposing to drill closer to the site and local residents fear that radioactive contaminants could make their way to the surface.  (And, to think we almost simply just drove by this town without giving it a second thought!)

Last one.  I swear.

Last one. I swear.

Upon our arrival in Glenwood Springs, we immediately found the World’s Largest Hot Springs Pool.  It was late in the evening by the time we arrived but we still had two quality hours in the pool.  While I am not a huge fan of public pools, I became a fan of this place instantly.  Chilly weather + hot springs + beautiful moonlight = perfection.  Yes, there were lots of people in this pool.  But, it’s the world’s largest so there was plenty of room for us to enjoy a relaxing swim.

Our lovely night ended at yet another Wal-Mart. Two nights in a row…this is a record for us. This particular Wal-Mart seemed a bit sketchy to me and I somewhat expected to wake up the next morning and find graffiti on the Airstream. Instead, however, we had a peaceful night’s rest…and no artwork on our shiny aluminum.

7 Responses to The Things We Learn on the Road

  1. marlene

    hello fellow airsteamers!

    just stumbled upon your blog. looking forward to reading your older posts for some traveling advice. my husband, 2 kids, cat and i are planning to hit the road for a bit… hopefully in january.

    so glad to see you are enjoying the road,
    marlene

  2. Lotus

    How amazing! This is how I would live my life if I could find a way. Our Airstream is quite old and parked in the woods of WI. How wonderful it would be to pull her out and take her on the road! We travel this route through Colorado to Moab at least once a year in our Jeep. Have always wanted to try the Hot Springs, but never have. I just found your blog and cannot wait to read more about your adventure. Any plans to head up to the Minnesota next year (of course, after the winter)? There are some wonderful sites near Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters!
    What a dream!
    Lotus

  3. Lani

    Thanks for the comment, Lotus. Love your site and the wonderful photos. I’ve never been to Minnesota so Chris and I should definitely try to make a point to visit next year (after winter, of course!) Definitely check out the hot springs in Glenwood. I was skeptical but now I’m a fan! In the chilly evening, it was a perfect place to be!

  4. Lani

    Thanks, Marlene! Look forward to reading about your upcoming travels and perhaps our paths will cross!

  5. RG Coleman

    YES, the moon rising shots are indeed impressive! I’ll bet the pictures still don’t do it justice; celestial events are hard to capture. That one at the top is amazing!

  6. Lani

    Thanks. Yes, no matter how many pictures I took (and I took a lot!), I could not quite capture how amazing the moon was that night. It was so beautiful!

  7. Mom

    Great pictures – also great entry!

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