Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More Atomic City - Part 1

A few days after we moved into the house LC asked me if I wanted to go to Arco for hamburgers and a salad.
It was 7 o'clock in the evening, it had been a long day and in truth the very last thing that I wanted to do was drive 30 minutes to get a burger.
But my Mountain Boy had spent day after hot day packing and loading and moving and we had not eaten a hot meal in a while.
I spent five months straight eating cereal when I first moved to Juneau, but that is not something the man in my life can do for more than a day or two.
So we drove sixty miles 'round trip to eat burgers and salad.
By the time we were part way through our trip I was glad that LC had wanted a hamburger.
The light was perfect.  So was the sky and so were the mountains.
LC pulled to truck over to the side of the road twice during our trip so that I could take pictures of the Twin Buttes and the Big Southern Butte and the mountains at the base of the Big Lost River Valley.
The Twin Buttes and Big Butte dominate the landscape close to the house, much as Carter, Rattlesnake, Cedar and Heart Mountains dominate the landscape in Cody.
The buttes tower over the Snake River Plain in which Atomic City is located.
At this time of night these three bulges in the landscape looked mystical and very beautiful...............
Taken looking towards Arco, at the base of the Big Lost River Valley................
A few days later my Mountain Boy, Jamie and I slowly walked close to the house and I snapped these pictures along the way.
Outside the small city hall building I found these sirens and water tank.
They all looked ancient and archaic and I have no idea whether they are still functioning, or whether they are now just town junk taking up space outside the mobile home that houses City Hall.
Regardless, I studied them for a few moments and saw art.................
The mobile home that is Atomic City, City Hall.
It is a small and definitely modest place, but LC and I attended a council meeting yesterday and we met some good people, without pretense or ego, who volunteered their time and who genuinely seemed to want to do a good job for the small population that inhabits this tiny community.
The town clerk is a neighbor and we met her the same day that we moved into town.
She has lived in Atomic City for over 30 years and has volunteered her time on the council for over 20 of those years.
A sweet, quiet, unpretentious, straight talking and helpful lady.  
Her husband died a year ago and she now lives alone in this high plains desert community.  My impression of her is that she is the glue that holds this town together and I like her very much..................
Three ancient fire trucks service the volunteer fire department, and the existence of the department ensures lower home insurance rates for community residents.
I am not even certain when these trucks were last fired up, but from conversation during the council meeting we attended they are still maintained.
Fire protection is provided predominantly by INL which is only a few miles away, and the BLM fire station that is located at the end of our road.
The BLM station's primary function is to fight fires on BLM land but they are there if the town needs them..............
Old and very cool vehicles.............
City hall is only a block away from the house, and while our puppy was still run down but recovering we slowly walked the large block around our house.
The town is made up of homes both fancy and run down (both inhabited and not), a number of what used to be commercial buildings that are now abandoned, and seemingly endless open space.
Big Butte in the distance, BLM land is just on the outskirts of this small place in every direction.
Even in town, there are wide expanses of open space...............
The BLM fire station.
Click on any pictures to enlarge them.............
The four silos, standing silently in a straight line on the outskirts of town................
One of many empty and abandoned buildings in Atomic City.
This used-to-be-bar sits silently on one corner, and it speaks to me.
When I stand in front of it, I can hear the noisy, drink laden, conversation filled business that this used to be in another life many years ago, when Atomic City was a hustling and bustling town of 2000 residents..................
The windows are covered so I can't see inside.  
Is it an empty, dusty, run down place or is there old-school architecture?  Maybe interesting decor that was abandoned - pictures, mirrors, a table and chair or two, more?
There must be a way to get inside to poke around.
In the next blog I'll post a picture of the giant boom box................

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