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Trinity Site Ride Report(30 posts)

Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:45 PM
Here are a few pics of today's Trinity Site Ride. Cool ride offering a round trip of 78 miles from San Antonio NM, or 36 miles from the Stallion Gate of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Here we are signing in, pretty standard stuff, including the waiver form for "unexploded ordinance" we see on pretty much every ride! Since visitors are only allowed onto the site of the first atomic bomb test twice a year, this visit just for cyclists is pretty special.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:47 PM
Here's some of the 36 mile riders getting ready outside Stallion Gate. The day started off cool so the big question everyone had was, "How much clothing am I going to need?"
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:48 PM
Since WSMR is an active duty testing facility we weren't allowed to take pictures along the route, only when we got very close to the actual test site. At about the fifteen mile mark the route took a sharp left turn to look up a 3 mile long 2% grade leading up to the site. I wish I could have stopped for a pic right there! From 3 miles away and below you could see the round discolored area of the blast perfectly. With the mountain backdrop it was an impressive sight. Here we are a lot closer, looking at an instrumentation bunker (unmanned) very close to the blast. It's just about the only original bunker still standing. The manned bunkers have long since been dismantled.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:49 PM
This is looking up at the test sight from the instrumentation bunker.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:50 PM
We must be getting close now! I wanted to pose these guys next to the radiological warning but there were a pair of wires running parallel to the fence. We started to wonder if stepping in there was safe or not.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:51 PM
This is the shed outside of ground zero – one way is the actual blast marker, the other points to a ranch where they did actual assembly of the bomb.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:52 PM
This is the dirt road/walkway that leads thru the blast zone to ground zero.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:53 PM
Me at the monument marking ground zero.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:54 PM
Kinda hard to see in the pic, but this is a couple of pilings from the original tower that survived the blast.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:55 PM
Here's a view outward (southwest) from the ground zero monument. The white shed in the distance houses some of the original blast soil and some Trinitite fragments.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:56 PM
This is the inner fence around ground zero. There's also an outer fence that lines the outside circumference of the blast zone. There's a storyboard here with pictures and descriptions of the people and events that led up to the test.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:58 PM
Here's a view inside the white shed from the earlier pic. The small greenish rocks are "Trinitite", fused sand from the blast.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 6:59 PM
Back outside ground zero you can see we had all kinds of riders and bikes. Recumbents, tandems, mountain and road bikes were all there. It was a very cool group of riders about 80 or so strong. Three different regional clubs came together to sponsor the ride.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 7:00 PM
The mountains around the test site are pretty impressive.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 7:01 PM
This was taken from inside of what's left of "Jumbo." Its' a huge metal drum that they originally planned to put the bomb inside, to prevent plutonium contamination if the test fizzled. They didn't use it but it did sit about 850 yards away from ground zero. It was later partially destroyed in a conventional explosion. Now it's a welcome place of cool shade and cold metal for sun weary visitors.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 7:03 PM
Just to give you an idea how far (by road) we were from anywhere.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reporttorquecal
Oct 18, 2003 7:04 PM
And finally, we're back outside Stallion gate. I'd like to thank Kay and Paul Dwyer for do an outstanding job organizing this ride!!! I wish I had gotten the name of the WSMR employee that gave up his Saturday just to be our tour guide, he was awesome, informative and entertaining.

We eventually got back into San Antonio to enjoy a few of Manny's famous green chili cheeseburgers. but I was too busy to take a pic there.
re: Trinity Site Ride Reportspankdoggie
Oct 18, 2003 7:17 PM
Now that was a cool ride report!

Excellent!!!

spankdoggie
Great report--but about that jersey....The Walrus
Oct 18, 2003 7:25 PM
It's always fascinating to see the places different posters ride; you definitely get bonus points for "weirdness factor" on this one.

...but as to the jersey--did you actually go to the Academy? (Just curious, because my dad was Class of '47, and I lived on the post for a year when he went back as an instructor. Not too often I run into someone with a West Point connection...)
Great report--but about that jersey....torquecal
Oct 18, 2003 7:28 PM
Nope, I didn't attend West Point, though I do have a lot of respect for those who have.

I'm in the USAF right now but I was in the Army from '81 to '86 (enlisted).
Trinity Blastrwbadley
Oct 19, 2003 8:10 AM
Trinity was a 'small' device that was what you could say was a fine 'starter nuke'.
It left a small hole,rwbadley
Oct 19, 2003 8:13 AM
which is why we don't see evidence of the blast today.

Thanks for the cool ride report. Anyone looking for more info on the Trinity device can google for it and a ton will come up. A very interesting bit of history.
That's amazingmickey-mac
Oct 19, 2003 2:11 PM
I'll admit to being no expert on nu-cu-lar weapons, but I'm astounded that a blast of that magnitude would leave a hole that looks like it was dug day-labors trucked in from the local 7-11 parking lot.
Thank goodness I was never stationed at WSMR!Asphalt Addict
Oct 19, 2003 8:52 AM
Great ride report! I passed through White Sands a few years ago and stopped to see what was there. Not much and out in the middle of no where. Reminded me alot of Fort Irwin, Ca. At least they have scrub grass. Like anything in the Army, you make the best of where you're assigned. Regular Army 81-92.
A little local colorpedalAZ
Oct 19, 2003 12:01 PM
My Mom was about 15 years old when that blast went off. She was in the kitchen of the family ranch house near Duncan, AZ when the bomb went off, saw the light and felt the shock wave. The house is just across the Arizona state line from New Mexico, west of a town names Lordburg, NM and about 30 miles north of I-10.
A prominent mother?ms
Oct 20, 2003 8:22 AM
Your post sounds like a passage from the autobiography of a prominent woman who was born in 1930. I am not sure of the etiquette of "outing" an RBR poster's true identity, so I won't post her name. However, if your mother is not the author of the book, I will post the author's name and the title of book. It is an interesting story.
No outing, please!pedalAZ
Oct 20, 2003 8:37 AM
I'd rather post here as just another cyclist.

Although I am pleased that you are so well read. I enjoyed the privilege of working alongside all the characters in that book as I was growing up.
From New Mexico?terry b
Oct 18, 2003 8:08 PM
did you do the century at the other end of WSMR last April? Watch out for it, I did it and had a good time. Approaches Trinity from the south. Same waiver on "don't pick up anything you didn't drop.
From New Mexico?torquecal
Oct 18, 2003 8:13 PM
I missed that ride - though I understand the same people (Kay and Paul) did the organizing with WSMR. I hope to do it next year.
Good stuff. I love ride reports of unusual areas, thanks. nmMB1
Oct 19, 2003 1:45 PM