Atomic 1000 opportunity in two weeks

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  • LD Rider
    started a topic Atomic 1000 opportunity in two weeks

    Atomic 1000 opportunity in two weeks

    This is a ride recap from last year and the referenced photos are no longer available. Your next opportunity to ride this happens in two weeks. Less than five people are currently on the books for this ride.



    The first Saturday in October is one of two days a year in which you are allowed to visit the Trinity site; the location of the world's first Nuclear explosion.

    At just shy of 3 am I filled up and and Brenda and I headed for the Trinity site in New Mexico, a distance of just over 500 miles. The site is only open from 8 am to 2 pm and I had forgotten about the time change, so we really should have left around midnight but four hours of sleep is better than nothing when doing a long ride like this.

    After riding through some 37 degree temperatures near Willcox AZ we stopped for breakfast in Lordsburg NM where it was a balmy 45 degrees. I had given Brenda her heated jacket and gloves because she gets cold at the drop of a hat, but I had failed to take my own gear thinking that it was only going to get down to about 47 degrees. Wrong! Big mistake! The lesson learned was to take the heated gear even if you don't think you're going to need it.

    From Lordburg we continued east to Las Cruces, got fuel to mark our "corner", and then headed north to San Antonio NM. We obtained our fuel receipt from the town's single dual-hose pump (pay inside only) and then headed for the White Sands Missile Range entrance about 12 miles east of San Antonio.

    From there you ride about 5 miles south to the range (Stallion) gate where you are given the once-over and everyone's ID is checked. We then proceeded to the Trinity site via a paved two lane (rough) road. There is a sign just inside the gate entrance that says radar detectors are prohibited, but the guards either didn't notice mine or didn't care. The base is also a No Firearms area but again, they never asked about it. You can take pictures at the Trinity site but nowhere else on the base. If I had been in a cage I would have been shooting photos left and right, but it's a bit obvious when you're on a bike so I behaved myself.

    The sign about the radar detector is pointless because mine was falseing on K and Ka bands the entire time I was on the base and even 5-10 miles away from the base. There are radar installations *everywhere* you look, especially on the north side of the facility, but they are up on the mountain peaks as well.

    After about 25 miles of rough pavement you arrive at the gravel parking lot and they give motorcycles preferential treatment near the site entrance which is really nice of them.

    The entrance is just behind me to the right, and you can see the Wing on the other side of the Trinity sign.



    There are porta-pottys and some water coolers provided, but that's the extent of the "services". Since it's a 1/4 mile walk to the actual test site from the parking lot we were very fortunate that they did provide a golf cart for disabled folks, as I doubt that Brenda would have been able to make the entire trip.

    Once you're at the site you discover that the ground around the tower for about 300 feet was depressed up to 8 feet by the detonation. The area took on the shape of a dinner plate; sunken in the center with a raised edge. There is a small clump of concrete/rebar above the surface which is what remained of one of the tower legs. Everything else was vaporized. The bomb had been in a shelter at the top of the 100 foot high tower when detonated.



    Just like at the Four Corners monument, everyone waits their turn to get their photo taken at the monument itself.





    The entire area is still radioactive, but a couple of hours spent there will not affect you all that much. Still, they do have signage to let you know that your being there is at your own risk.



    Since we had arrived so late we did not have time to visit the MacDonald House, a tour that requires you taking one of their shuttle buses to get there. The Balloon Festival was going on this same weekend, so if it plays out again the same way next year we'll probably make a long weekend of it and visit ABQ first for the balloons, and then come down to Trinity earlier in the morning on Saturday for the full tour.


    We mounted back up and headed home, stopping in Truth or Consequences for dinner and fuel, and then back through Las Cruces and Lordsburg before reaching home just prior to midnight.




    Total odo miles was just under 1150, and total GPS miles was 1097. Time was just a few minutes shy of 21 hours.

    Brenda's stroke anniversary is next Monday morning, so this was very much a celebration of her recovery from four years ago. From not knowing who I was, or who her son was, to not knowing her name, not being able to walk or talk or eat; to being able to ride a SaddleSore 1000 after only being back on the bike for six months is remarkable. She was very tired and sore the next day, but she was glad that she went. The intention had been for me to go alone, but at the last minute she asked to go as well, so after some serious discussion about how hard this would be, she still wanted to do it.


    Which brings me to this, the Atomic 1000. After getting home and getting my paperwork in order I emailed Mike Kneebone and described the ride to him and sent him some photos. He agreed that this should be a new Iron Butt Assoc ride and will certify it as such, which means that Brenda will be the first pillion to have that certificate (once everything gets approved).

    Mike will have to be the one to formally announce this and what the requirements will be, but my suggestions were as follows.
    It can only be done on one of two Saturdays a year in which the range is open to the public.
    The Trinity site must be either an end point, or a waypoint as part of a SaddleSore, or Bun Burner style ride.
    This is very similar to the requirements that were in place for the Eclipse rides a few months ago.

    I don't know how they will verify arrival at the site unless it is a combination of a photo / Spotwalla map / and a fuel receipt from the San Antonio station, but that will be up to them to determine.

    All in all, it was a good ride, although poorly planned. Thanks for following along.

  • kwthom
    replied
    Certificates inbound...

    In-ear monitors arriving tomorrow. Hope they help both of us!

    Leave a comment:


  • kwthom
    commented on 's reply
    I've *never* been a fan of the waxed ones. The last bag I bought (which is what I can't find...grrrr!) from W-M, and they were pink.

  • LD Rider
    replied
    These are the plugs I swear by... https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Plugs-...891629118&th=1

    Leave a comment:


  • kwthom
    replied
    So....

    Submitted the application & photos for the Atomic 1000 today. That task is done.

    I'll get cranking on the blog update next. Yes, we were only there about an hour...but just driving in and out of that place - and seeing the stuff they tell you to NOT take photographs of...

    Heh.

    Yeah, I *know* what that stuff is there for.

    Neat ride - glad I was able to ride from New Mexico back home with zero drama. My wife is a trooper, and my whining (remember, no whining in LD riding, damnit!) didn't start until passing the 900 mile mark.

    I have *got* to get my wife used to hearing protection. After leaving the range, it was just the earpieces in the helmets, and I didn't find my earplugs (grrr!) Yesterday was a bit of wind noise in my head while -not- moving.

    Leave a comment:


  • LD Rider
    replied
    Congrats! Looking forward to the ride report.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwthom
    replied
    Fun day...18 hours and 1044 miles in the books.

    A little sore, but no worse for wear today. Additional details to write up, possibly tomorrow.

    Leave a comment:


  • LD Rider
    replied
    You're NE of El Paso as I write this. Looking good.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwthom
    replied
    The Spotwalla link for the ride tomorrow...

    https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...25ca61b9b09456

    Introductory post about the ride on my blog - link in the sig line.

    Leave a comment:


  • LD Rider
    replied
    Even better. You'll have someone to take your photo at the monument.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwthom
    replied
    What my wife tentatively had scheduled on the 6th isn't going to happen...so, she's considering tagging along.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwthom
    commented on 's reply
    Looking forward to doing it...the themed rides actually gives a reason to do a ride like this.

    Sleeping in your own bed after it's done is a bonus.

  • LD Rider
    replied
    Enjoy the ride. I won't be able to go as Brenda has a couple of big and important Dr's appt on the 8th and I need to make sure I'm home in time to take her. It will be the end of a Tour Of Honor ride week for me anyhow, and then I've got a rally in Kingman on the 19th.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwthom
    replied
    My wife quizzed me about this ride...

    "Still doing it?"

    "I'd like to...wanna come along?"

    "Overnight somewhere?"

    "Naah - doing it in a single day."

    "I'll pass. You have fun, though!"

    "I love you too!" Ahahahaha...


    My probable routing - not including the 50-odd miles from the gate to Trinity & Back.

    https://goo.gl/maps/uvcYw1MiDsu

    Thanks to a user on another forum on how to show the Trinity routing.

    https://goo.gl/maps/jLfchayiPDq

    So, an estimated 7.5 hours of travel time to get to the center access road. Figure a total of three hours (travel time in & out of the facility, plus visit time), then another 8-ish hours home.

    That'll be a long day. I really need to be moving by 0300 MST (AZ time) / 0400 MDT (NM time) to make it work for timing.

    Leave a comment:


  • LD Rider
    replied
    One month countdown begins...

    Leave a comment:

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