On the Road Adventures

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan 31

Yesterday was an upkeep day for us. Three loads of laundry, vacuuming, dusting, grocery shopping, repacking the basement compartments to put things back where they belong, and a loooooonnnnnggggg, hot, soapy shower. I don’t mind going for a while with “tea-kettle” showers (important if you are dry camping and don’t want to run out of water or fill up the grey water tank.) But there comes a time when a half-hour shower with tons of hot water is just the best thing ever.

Today we drove about 60 miles north of Tucson into the foothills of the Catalina Mountains, where they are skiing up at the top while we're in shirt sleeves here below. How civilized! We were going to tour Biosphere 2. You’ll remember this from the early nineties when it was built as a completely self-contained and closed system and an 8-person team along with some chickens and goats went to live inside this structure that has its own ocean, rain forest, savannah and two deserts that cover over 3 acres of totally enclosed space.

Even then, it felt like the whole experiment was straight out of a science fiction book. The team was in there for two years before the experiment was canceled because of problems with the environmental balance and now it’s a research center for the University of Arizona.

What a fascinating place! Even though it is no longer completely sealed off from the outside world, it’s as much a living organism as the Earth (Biosphere 1) itself. It even has lungs. They don’t grow crops there any more, but the deserts, ocean and rain forest are still there. The engineering to build and keep this place running is incredibly impressive. It's a one-of-a-kind place that's well worth seeing. This is a shot of the rain forest, which was appropriately steamy and lushly overgrown.

Then we came back and had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. I’m stuffed!

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