Updated May 18, 2013, on page 4
Some of you may remember the ride report that Questor and I posted last fall about our visit to an Atlas-F nuclear missile silo in upstate NY. Here's the thread for those of you who missed it:
We went back on Saturday, accompanied by four other ADVrider inmates (I confess, I was not able to retain their screen names in my poor memory -- I know they'll chime in here though).
For me the morning started with missing Questor at our appointed meeting spot -- timing mixup. I headed down to an open house at the Suzuki dealership where I bought my WeeStrom, then from there headed west into NY and to the silo site. Questor was already there, and I found him and the silo's owner, Alexander Michael, chatting in the kitchen of the LCC.
I didn't waste much time asking Alex's permission to explore the silo (last time, as you'll recall from the previous post, we only went down as far as Level 3).
This is the tunnel leading from the LCC to the silo (seen from the silo end):
Alex has removed the roof that was over the silo opening during our last visit, so a lot more light made it into the depths. Here's what you see looking down into the silo:
Silo door from below:
The tunnel enters the silo on Level 2 (Level 1 was removed from the silo ages ago for salvage). I started down to Level 3 and snapped this pic of Alex (left) and Questor on my way down:
Here's a tour of Level 3:
From there I continued down to Level 4:
Many of the overhead lamps still had lightbulbs in them:
Continuing our tour of Level 4:
This is the elevator shaft:
More of Level 4:
Continuing down to Level 5:
Here's the view down into the bottom of the silo from Level 5:
Continuing along Level 5:
Another view down into the silo. The large missing sections were cut out in order to remove the gigantic liquid oxygen tank.
And looking up towards the top of the silo:
Level 6. By this time the light was getting very, very dim.
Here's the view across the bottom of the silo:
Looking down to Level 8. The spiral stairs end on Level 7, and only this ladder goes down to Level 8. I was covered with enough rust already (my jacket is going to have red-brown spots on it for ages), so I decided not to venture down.
I walked back up the spiral stairs to Level 2, then headed back into the LCC and up the stairs to the surface.
Since the last visit, Alex has acquired the hydraulic rams that open and close the silo doors. They've just been rehabbed and are awaiting installation. They're big suckers:
Even the wrist pins they use are huge (large bag of chocolate chip cookies for reference):
The silo door, which explains why the hydraulic rams need to be so big:
Soon the four other ADVrider inmates arrived...
And Alex started giving them the tour. Here he is showing them the launch console in the LCC:
And the mounting bracket for the crib in the silo:
We walked down to Level 3 again, and I got this shot that's a nice bookend to one from the first visit:
Here's the original shot:
Once everyone was done exploring, we fired up the grill. I wonder if there are any other people in the world who have ever barbecued inside a nuclear missile silo.
We're calling it the Fire In The Hole Party.
After dinner we watched "The Day After" and "On The Beach" before we all crashed out in the LCC. Then we made our way homewards Sunday morning.
It was fascinating exploring all the way to the bottom of the silo (well, to the water, anyway), and it was great meeting everyone. This was a blast (no pun intended).
And as before, thanks again to Alex for being such a gracious host, and to Questor for arranging this!