Hello Fat Man

30th May - 1st  June

We left the museum in good spirits, and went to get the heater fixed (I know, I used a bit of editorial licence on the order of things).  Which, by the way, while we are talking about the RV reminds me of several issues:

When we picked the RV up, we had two issues that we pointed out - the fact that the black tank did not seem to be empty, and the condition of the two bicycles. On the former, we were assured that the sensor was simply reading wrong, and on the bikes, the young lady ran off to get a can of spray oil for the chains etc.....

Nevertheless, it remains quite clear that the bikes were not serviced before they were put on our RV. I suspect that they were never even taken off from the last trip; they are filthy, rusty, and we have since discovered that on one bike the handlebars are loose, and on the other the tyre is flat - not just flat, the valve is actually broken inside. Not something you could miss if you actually put the bike on the ground! Not to mention, they come without lights, without basic tools, and even without a pump!! Hmm...

On another issue, we couldn't understand for days why it appeared to be Christmas inside the RV. Finally we worked out that the 'snow' everywhere was broken bits of polystyrene blown out of the vents when the aircon is turned on. Very bizarre. Every night before we go to bed we have to shake the sheets (no, stop it..).

But do we let these things get to us? Do we? Do we? No. Instead, we go and look at various weapon systems.....

White Sands Missile Base

On the HWY 70 there are two signs giving notice of the White Sands Missile Base Museum. Once you turn off the highway, however, there are no more such signs - only very large warnings "Go Back! You are entering US Government property.", "STOP! You are about to enter a military area. Be careful, we shoot first and ask questions later", and "If we think you look or act funny, you could be shot, or detained without due process. Just because we can."

I exaggerate only very slightly, but on the long road past all the warning signs Sarah was saying; go back Robin, this must be the wrong way. We arrived at a security checkpoint, and dubiously got out to show our passports.

"That's fine sir, you don't look or act funny yet," said the lady behind the counter, "you can go right on in."

At the armed checkpoint, the guard just asked, "Did you see the lady?"

"Err, yes,"

"Did she think you acted or looked kinda funny?"

"Err, no..."

"Thank you sir, that's fine. You can walk right on in. No photos until you're in the museum though!"

"Err, right."

There was I expecting an anal cavity search, but in reality we literally walked around the checkpoint, up the road on our own, and into the museum.

These are the cool weapons we found there;

Trained 'attack snakes'

And this is the bomb casing for the Fat Man - the bomb dropped over Nagasaki. Actually, this isn't actually the actual bomb casing used in the actual bombing. That would be actually difficult. But this is an actual replica/model/alternative. Actually.

Fat Thing. Bad.

Below is perhaps my favourite from the museum, because of what it represents. The Pershing II, some believe, with it's accuracy, range and payload, was a major contribution towards persuading the Soviets to pursue a disarmament plan. In time, the Pershing missiles, except for a few for display, were dismantled and destroyed as part of those peace deals. God Bless America, yes sireee Bob.

Pershing I

And everyone's favourite, the Patriot: what I was most impressed about is the frame holding the launch boxes. As the paint flakes in the sun, it's possible to see that the struts of the frame are wooden! Kind of makes this like a modern version of the trebuchet...

Wooden patriot (aren't we all?)

Anyhooo. It was hot. Damn hot. We left.....

And eventually arrived at Elephant Butte, just outside Truth or Consequence, NM (No, I don't make the names up... well, not this time).

To be honest, I'm sure Elephant Butte (pronounced bewt, as in 'beautiful') is a great place. But we were tired, and couldn't be bothered doing anything much :) So not much to report; we got our laundry done (by the way, we couldn't get anyone to understand what a laundrette is....

"Excuse me, do you have a laundrette?"

"A what, sir?"

"A laundrette?"

"Never heard of him."

"No, it's a place, a thing - somewhere to do your laundry?"

"Well, I don't know nothing about no damn lawn jet, but you can do your laundry over there, in the laundry? Or else you can head down to the river and beat it against some rocks?"

"Thanks."

"You're welcome sir, have a nice day.")

The RV park was great really - we have no hesitation in recommending the

Elephant's butts Resort

The only Churches I might consider joining

After two days of very little, we moved on, heading towards.....