Traffic Jam in Zion NP

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From Arches and Bryce Canyon National Parks, we made our way to Zion National Park. Time for a confession here: we got into Zion on 7/3 (a few years ago) and the park was jam-packed!  We couldn’t even find a place to park anywhere…literally. So we weren’t able to do much more than drive though and pull off on the side of the road when no one was coming to grab a few photos.

We did, however, capture today’s photo that shows a traffic jam in Zion. These magnificent creatures came from the left hand side of the road and eventually crossed over to the right hand…and they totally obeyed the speed limit sign…they weren’t going over 20 miles per hour, I can guarantee that!  They just took their own sweet time as if they had no care in the world. I got some great close-ups with my telephoto of them critters. When you see the rams up close (even through a telephoto) and see the environment where they live, you begin to get a greater appreciation for what “ram tough” means!

You can get a sense for some of the fascinating rock formations in Zion here, too.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1957, the United States detonated a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375 square mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produced no radioactive fallout. A modified W-25 warhead weighing 218 pounds and measuring 25.7 inches in diameter and 17.4 inches in length was used for the test. Rainier was part of a series of 29 nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons safety tests known as Operation Plumbbob that were conducted at the NTS between May 28, 1957, and October 7, 1957.

In December 1941, the U.S. government committed to building the world’s first nuclear weapon when President Franklin Roosevelt authorized $2 billion in funding for what came to be known as the Manhattan Project. The first nuclear weapon test took place on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few weeks later, on August 6, 1945, with the U.S. at war against Japan, President Harry Truman authorized the dropping of an atomic bomb named Little Boy over Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, on August 9, a nuclear bomb called Fat Man was dropped over Nagasaki. Two hundred thousand people, according to some estimates, were killed in the attacks on the two cities and on August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers.

1957’s Operation Plumbbob took place at a time when the U.S. was engaged in a Cold War and nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. In 1963, the U.S. signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which banned nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere, underwater and outer space. A total of 928 tests took place at the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1992, when the U.S. conducted its last underground nuclear test. In 1996, the U.S signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear detonations in all environments.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: home to 33 million people, the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area is the largest populated metropolitan region in the world.

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