Posts Tagged ‘ Socorro ’

Trinity Site Tour was a Blast!

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
October 24th, 2012

Twice a year the Trinity Site, the place where the first atomic bomb was detonated, opens its gates to the public. Although other videos we have seen made it appear to be rather boring, we were pleasantly surprised and intrigued! This location is a magnificent representation of iconic and revolutionary history in the United States. The Manhattan project was created in June of 1942 with the ultimate goal of creating an atomic bomb. Led by Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a group of scientists and engineers designed and built this device in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Their device was tested at the Trinity Site, located about 30 minutes from Socorro, NM which is now part of the White Sands Missile Range. The monument offers a great educational experience with information on both the historical context and the technical and scientific aspects of the testing. Not to mention that you can pick up some quirky merchandise in the process. This area has radiation levels higher than the typical background exposure that we all experience, but safety is always a primary concern. The brief exposure that one will receive in one hour at the site is approximately equal to 1/4th the dose received in a coast to coast commercial flight. While the atomic bomb may not be on your list of favorite things, the Trinity Site is a worthwhile trip that we would highly recommend to anybody who has the opportunity.

Video: Bosque del Apache Day Trip – Festival of the Cranes

Written by Mark T Fiedler - The Mark and Sheila Team
November 25th, 2010

One of the cool things about New Mexico is the number of great destinations within a couple hours drive of the Albuquerque / Rio Rancho area. We joined a local hiking group this past weekend for an excursion to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is located on 30,000 acres just 113 miles south of Rio Rancho, just south of Socorro. It is the site of the annual Festival of the Cranes, usually held in late November.

Festival of the CranesMany years ago, the Rio Grande River meandered more, and would create shallow marshes and wetlands in this area. Migrating waterfowl would visit this area after leaving their northern digs when it got cold. Over the years, the Rio Grande became more of a specific channel, and the birds lost their habitat. When the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge was established, they redirected part of the Rio Grande’s flow into acres of lowland to re-create the marshes preferred by the birds. Much of the rest of the land is now devoted to raising crops, some of which is left in the field as food for the birds.

During the day, the Sandhill Crains are in the pastures, eating, strutting and calling. At dusk however, they leave the pastures and head to the shallow ponds where they will be safer from predators in the dark. Some years, the cranes number up to 15,000 and blanket the sky. When we visited, the crane count was only about 2500. The weather had been pretty warm, so the real migration had not yet peaked. About 30 minutes after dark, when there was too little light to film, the snow geese flock swooped into the pond to join the cranes. The arrival ratcheted up the bird noise by a factor of ten. As of today, the snow goose population is around 8500. There are dozens of bird species present, (including Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and American White Pelicans) easy walking trails, bird observation blinds, and great facilities overall. I recommend this as a great day trip for the whole family any time of year.