Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Socorro, New Mexico

As usual I’m trying to catch up as I’m way behind with the blog.   Socorro (Spanish for ‘help’, I think) is an old Spanish town and has an interesting history.

Our first stop was at the old San Miguel Mission which was established in 1598.  The mission is closed at the moment as during one of the many renovations the wrong sort of stucco was applied, water got into the adobe walls and they crumbled from the inside out.   Once the stucco was removed, the fix was to allow the adobe to dry out, this took over 12 months and then a new formulation of stucco was applied by hand.
Our next stop was the Visitor Centre where we picked up details of the Socorro Walking Tour, very handily we were able to leave the truck in the parking area at the rear of the building.

The Plaza
I think this is the oldest bar in town, no we didn’t go in, way too early in the day for us, besides which that would have meant me driving DB’s beloved truck up I25, yeh right, not gonna happen!  
This was once the Valverde Hotel.
I’m not sure if this neon sign still works.
Across from the plaza is a fragment of Jumbo, a huge steel vessel designed to contain the first nuclear explosion at the Trinity Site on 16 July 1945.   The Trinity site about 35 miles east of Socorro.
Jumbo was 25ft long, 12ft in diameter, weighed 214 tons and had steel walls 14 inches thick.   Although Jumbo wasn’t used in the first tests and was 800ft from ground zero, the only damage was to the steel superstructure around it that crumpled in the blast.   In later experiments the ends were blown out.
WWII Bataan Memorial.

We didn’t finish the walking tour because as usual we got chatting and ran out of time, but there is much more to see in Socorro and the surrounding areas, so we’ll be back. 
Have fun, we are!

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