A Trip to the Trinity Test Site, New Mexico
October 2, 1999

Click on any image below for the full size photo
Sonora Pass flagger A mile before the steep rise to Sonora summit, waiting for construction.
Bristlecone Pine slope Bristlecone Pine trees are larger than life. Near Big Pine, California.
Bristlecone bark Only a thin strip of live bark (on the right) supports the entire tree. The rest has been weathered away over centuries of windblasting.
Bristles on the cone Where the Bristlecone Pine gets its name. They are sharp enough to be used as needles.
Sierra Nevada from 10,000 feet Looking west to the Sierra Nevada from 10,000 feet on the road to Bristlecone Pine forest (visible on left slope). Mount Whitney is just over the distant ridge, which drops 6,000 feet to the valley in the right center of the photo. There is still snow on the ridge from last winter. Notice the smog layer drifting in from L.A. to the south.
Joshua Tree and moon above rocks The right arm of the Joshua Tree points to the half moon (barely visible). An information marker tells how the rock domes are pushed up by the San Andreas Fault which runs along the park. Then weathering breaks the domes into boulders.
Conversation with a coyote Mr. Coyote (sans any Acme equipment) went to rest under the tree on the left, whereupon I took the shade of the next tree. After our conversation, he paused for a pose.
North side of Salt River Canyon Looking north in Salt River Canyon. The road goes down to the river then climbs the canyon wall.
Salt River and south canyon The Salt River, looking back to where the previous picture was taken.
The Pie-O-Neer Cafe, Pietown, New Mexico The Pie-O-Neer Cafe, Pie Town, New Mexico.
Very Large Array Very long shot of the Very Large Array. Even a telephoto doesn't capture this well ... each arm of the Y (seen going off in the distance in the center) is 13 miles long.
T-shirts at Trinity Most important to many visitors ... what Americans use to 'prove' they have been somewhere. (At least they didn't say "I survived ...")
Jumbo bomb container Outside the site fence: "Jumbo" bomb containment vessel. It was intended to prevent scattering of uranium if TNT did not set off the nuclear reaction, but late calculations determined it was not necessary. Mounted on a tower 100 yards from the blast, it survived the explosion unscathed! Then it was destroyed by the Army in a conventional explosives test years later.
No cosmetics allowed ... application of cosmetics?
Base of tower at ground zero The only remaining corner of the base of the tower which held the bomb 100 feet above ground zero (marked by the monument in background).
Flowers at the tower base Blue desert flowers of power at the tower.
Trinity, ground zero Trinity.
Visitors from Hiroshima The man at the left took off his jacket for the photo. His T-shirt is adorned with the paper birds of Hiroshima. He was there when the world's second nuclear explosion detonated.
Fatman bomb display Filling the site with educational material ... a "Fatman" casing similar to the one used for the bomb.
The site View from the edge of the site. Ground Zero marker to the left of Fatman, parking lot and entry gate 1/4 mile beyond.
.006 seconds .006 seconds
.016 seconds .016 seconds
.053 seconds .053 seconds
.100 seconds .100 seconds
2 seconds 2 seconds
10 seconds 10 seconds
hot rocks "Warning: Do Not pick up trinitite or other material. It is still radioactive."

Photos by Sam Lepore <sam@sanfransysco.com>