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Close Encounters of The OMG Kind, Part IV

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Outside The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Photo by Dustin Hodges (Omigod, Dibs!™)


We headed toward Albuquerque where we thought we’d have a look around and see what the town had to offer, not really knowing exactly what we were looking for or where we’d ultimately go. The trip to Albuquerque gave way to coming across another sign along the road that caught our attention. Advertised was a place we were not aware of. Once we observed the sign we became very intrigued and ultimately lured into the idea of visiting the place posted on the sign, a place named The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.

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There was a bit of disappointment once we arrived at The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, but at no fault to the museum. Jenny and I had spent so much of our time in Roswell earlier in the day that by the time we arrived at The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, it was just after closing time. Luckily, for us, there was plenty to see outside that we soon kept ourselves occupied with what the museum had to offer outdoors. The first, noticeable object of awesomeness (if that’s even a word) was a giant rocket that stood tall near the parking lot. It looked as if it were ready and waiting to be launched the next morning! There were jets and planes fenced in, but close enough to see to still enjoy being in their presence. The building itself was a sight to see, perfect for taking great pictures. The building had a giant art sculpture built into it of the beryllium atomic element, with its four protons, neutrons and electrons. There was even a massive rocket launcher outside, with rockets on it too!! Although we never got to go in, it was still definitely worth it to stop by and check out what they had outside.

Santa Fe was to be our next stop, then on toward Los Alamos. Santa Fe was a beautiful town with its Spanish inspired architecture, old structures and pueblo buildings. Santa Fe was a great place to get out and walk around to explore the sights. There was a beautiful church building in particular that really caught our eye that we knew we had to go see. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis is a catholic church built in the years 1869-1887 (according to Wikipedia). The beautifully designed structure and artistic touches on, in, and around the building are what really drew us in to come see this historic site. If you ever go to Santa Fe we suggest that you stop by this area and be ready to be inspired by a whole new cultural sight. It’s absolutely beautiful.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis in Santa Fe. Photo by Dustin Hodges (Omigod, Dibs!™)

The walk around the area was a very nice pace compared to the beginning of our trip, but we were still only in our first state outside of Texas and we had a lot of ground to cover. We were now off to Los Alamos. Now, most people might not think to visit a place like Los Alamos, I admit, before I had ever gone I had no idea what to expect, I just knew of what was there and that was Los Alamos National Laboratories. I didn’t expect that we’d get to go in anywhere to really see anything, but I thought that we should still go see for ourselves and at least say that we’ve been there. Well, when we got there we didn’t expect to come in contact with a toll both kind of deal that filled the entire roadway when we got to a certain section there. It was more like entering a border security point. I guess that I was really naïve and ignorant of where we were headed to.

My wife and I got to a point of no return on the roadway and had to go to the checkpoint. I already assumed that they were going to tell us to turn around immediately, but they were friendly and asked what our business was and we replied, “Oh, we’re just sightseeing and wanted to look around Los Alamos”. We were informed that the area we were headed into was not really a place to go “sightseeing”, that it was more of a place filled with facilities and that the main part of town was in another location, that we were able to continue through, but was cautioned to not go toward or through any restricted areas. So, we drove through, completely lost, and started immediately wondering where the heck were we going to go?

We barely drove anywhere. It was kind of embarrassing at that moment. We knew that the guard could still see us. We hadn’t gone that far because we decided to turn on one of the first left turns we could to try to figure out where we were and where we were going to go. We had no idea! We drove slowly down the road we turned on, still visible to the checkpoint area, looking at the buildings we came across. Each was some sort of government facility, each with some scientific heading on the building. “WE ARE IN LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORIES?!” We were so naïve and ignorant that we thought we were trying to get to the town, but we were in the government facilities. “Can we do this??” “Maybe we should turn around.” “No, if we turn around we’ll look suspicious.” “We already are looking suspicious! Look at us! We’re making the first left turn we come across and driving as fast as a grandma drives in a school zone on the first day of school!!”

This concludes "Close Encounters of The OMG Kind, Part IV". Stay tuned for more of the adventure and close encounters of the OMG kind.

Read the whole blog series, in order: Close Encounters of The OMG Kind

Check out more pictures of this trip and more at our Instagram page @OMGDibs



Dustin H.

Lover of road trips, married, a father, an entrepreneur, chaser of dreams.

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