TOWB: Day 4, Albuquerque to Oklahoma City
Editor's Note: For what it's worth, I'm trying to put a lot of thought into the way I write these posts, but I don't normally get time to write until it's late at night(12:30 am right now) and so I usually just end up recalling the days events. I'm trying, but maybe my most thoughtful posts will come after the trip is done and I have a day or two to reflect. Who knows. Okay, nose back to the grindstone.
Woke up feeling refreshed after a great night's sleep in our Holiday Inn Express and we made it out the door in time to make it to our first stop right as they were opening.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science was pretty much what we expected. A fair bit of the floorspace was dedicated to the history of military applications of nuclear technology. There were was an obviously large portion of that section dedicated to Fat Man and Little Boy including replicas and lots of information. There was very little about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but what was included was a book for guests to write their reactions. I paged through most recent few pages and ignoring the childish writing, feedback on what people expected from the museum, and people writing MAGA there were two main responses. A few people, some Japanese, mentioning how sad the exhibit made them feel and then others expressing remorse for the things that happened but thankful that they did happen, most stating, "otherwise I wouldn't be here." It was the most interesting part of the museum for me, but as we had a lot of driving to do and a surprise stop to make, I didn't really have time to dive into it.
The rest of the exhibits focused on practical uses of nuclear technology and also the logistics of handling nuclear materials. There was also a large outdoor area where they had many different nuclear weapon related vehicles. Everything from a replica of the test tower that held the "Gadget" which was the first nuclear explosion to the conning tower of a nuclear submarine. That's right, after discussing the words superstructure and substructure I had a chance to talk about the superstructure of a sub!
After that we were initially planning on heading straight to Oklahoma City, but a well timed post by Jesse Feldman gave us a nice little side trip to do before leaving New Mexico. He mentioned a place called Meow Wolf, and after watching a video on their site, I thought it looked like a worthy side trip that would only add a few hours on to our day. So off to Santa Fe only to find another line, but that only made it seem that much more worth doing. Okay, I'm burying the lead here. I can't even... I can't even begin to describe what Meow Wolf is. Instead I'm going to try and describe how it made me feel, and trust that if the description intrigues you enough, you'll plan your own trip there(I know I'm already planning a trip back). I'm also not going to include any pictures of the inside(with one small exception) because I really think that it's something you just have to experience for yourself.
I laughed a lot, but not the laughter of humor(although there was a little of that), but the laughter of dismay that something so incredibly unexpected could exist and is right in front of you. I gasped a lot, every turn brought a new and surprising twist. I sat peacefully in environments that shouldn't exist outside of dreams. I thrilled at discoveries that felt like they were mine alone, even though they've been shared by thousands of visitors before me. I cried in the dark, thinking of losing loved ones. I giggled like a little kid on a playground. And when I exited to the gift shop, it was like waking up from an amazing dream into the harsh morning sun.
Did that excite you? Did that intrigue you? You should go. You should bring your friends and enjoy something incredibly special together.
Okay enough of that hippy stuff, on to Oklahoma City with a short stop at a Whataburger! Actually Balson and I were pretty excited about getting to try this Southern chain. Sadly the review isn't great. I think we're going to give them one more shot if we have the opportunity, probably for breakfast. Balson's review is, "Regular burgers, slow," and that pretty much captures our first experience. They weren't bad or good, just pretty standard burgers, but for what we were getting it took forever to get to the table, and the restaurant wasn't crowded at all. Pretty underwhelming. That being said, their color scheme made me very happy!
That brings us back to another Holiday Inn Express, this time in Oklahoma City. Tomorrow it's the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum, our last In-N-Out of the trip in Dallas, and then on to the French Quarter in New Orleans.