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Passage to Atom City

Leo Kirsch
Thursday, Jun 23rd 2016

Moving across country was an adventure, my car survived despite what the mechanics told me. I drove to New Mexico with a friend from church and along the way we stopped in Utah to visit the national parks. We spent three nights and two days in Zion. The first day we hiked six miles through a river one to five feet deep and up four waterfalls the entire first day. The second day we clambered up the chains of Angels' Landing to 5000ft above the canyon base the first half of the day and explored an unmaintained canyon for 4 hours the rest of the day.

The next stop was Lake Powell where we rented a jet ski. The lake is often described as the Grand Canyon but filled to the brim with water. They said we couldn't run out of gas during the 4 hours we had the jetski rental, but we proved them wrong. At first we were hesitant to drive fast or try any stunts, but before long were we doing both simultaneously. Our favourite stunt was to drive as fast as we could and make as sharp turns as possible while the other person with one hand hung on (or didn't).

Los Alamos is quiet beautiful. It's nice to be in a barren desert where it rains more often than Berkeley. The first evening I arrived I watched a sunset thunderstorm from my porch. Every minute or so the red and orange sky above the green mountains was engulfed with a purple bolt of monstrous lightning. The same thing happened every evening that entire first week; the locals called it the monsoon season. But now, the rain has stopped and the heat wave has hit the Southwest. I go to sleep every night sweating, with nothing but a mere ceiling fan to cool me off.