In the Footsteps: Los Alamos (Part 1)

We spent this past, very long weekend in New Mexico, doing research on our country’s nuclear history. In future posts, we’ll have more to say about the Manhattan Project and the three New Mexico museums we visited. For now, we’d like to share photos that demonstrate how we walked in the footsteps of those atomic scientists of the mid-1940s.

Manhattan Project scientists rode The Chief from Chicago and Los Angeles to Lamy, New Mexico
Train Station at Lamy, NM
109 E. Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, where Dorothy McKibbin welcomed each Manhattan Project scientist and processed them on the way to The Hill
La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, for respite in transit or some R&R away from The Hill
In the era of the Manhattan Project, this was the one-lane, wooden bridge across the Rio Grande in the mountains to get to and from Los Alamos.
The Guard at the gate on The Hill, checking IDs
Welcome to Los Alamos Today
Los Alamos Fashion
ID cards from the Manhattan Project
Fuller Lodge: dance hall, cafeteria, meeting rooms
Here's where the residents on The Hill would eat, dance, and be merry.
Richard D. Baker, the father of plutonium chemistry, came to Los Alamos as part of the Manhattan Project. He lived in this house 1959-1995.
Original chair from the P.X. during the Manhattan Project
J. Robert Oppenheimer, Lofty Anna, Gen. Leslie Groves in Los Alamos
To get away from The Hill for a respite, Manhattan Project scientists would take a short drive to Bandelier National Monument to hike in the Jemez Mountains.
On Sunday, Lofty Ambitions hiked five miles in the mountains and enjoyed the trek.
The Jemez Mountains were home to three Native American peoples, and some of their lodgings and ceremonials structures are accessible on a visit to Bandelier National Monument.
The Rio Grande in Bandelier National Monument. Bandelier shares its northern border with Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Once the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and World War II ended, some scientists left Los Alamos for their former United States homes or for academic posts. Others, like Richard Baker, stayed on. The Manhattan Project had achieved its goal, but the Los Alamos National Laboratory, whose address is on Bikini Atoll Road, remains an active research institution. LANL is now charged with maintaining our nuclear weapons stockpile, “ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.” The juxtaposition between this goal and the natural beauty of Bandelier National Monument, which shares a border with the lab, left us relatively speechless. We were reminded that awe is a deeply mixed emotion, something that conjures up reverence and respect and profound wonder, but also dread.