Let’s all Speculate, Part 2

There were a lot of pictures yesterday, so I'll tone down today's post. This corner of Idaho actually has it's own interesting history. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has gone through many names over the years, but that's the current one. It played a pioneering role in the dawning of the nuclear age.

It isn't as explosive a history as White Sands, in New Mexico, or Jackass Flats, in Nevada. This has to do with a more peaceful use of nuclear power. (That's subjective though when you consider the nuclear Navy.)

There were accidents, and they tell me there are three people buried out there in lead coffins. Think about that for a while. Maybe you want to write about a nuclear powered superhero or villain.

There have been over fifty nuclear generators built at INL. These include the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. The little town we are staying in, Arco, was the first city on Earth lit entirely by nuclear powered electricity.

There is a conning tower in the city park that reflects upon this era. The name of the ship is there, but it isn't important for this post.

The ship's number isn't lost on me either, but I don't get a paranormal vibe about the place.

Saturday afternoon we stopped at the camper for a sandwich. Then we went to a pseudo ghost town called Atomic City. The name appealed to me more than anything else. What a great name for a science fiction town.

Hee Haw reference, “Atomic City, Idaho. Population 29. Sal-oot.”

This appears to have been a place for workers at INL. It has a definite fifties vibe. There are even homes that look like the old cinder block barracks buildings. There is still a kind of biker bar here, but not much else. Check out these two abandoned buildings:

I can just see a stranger in a black suit pulling into town in a black Hudson Hornet. He gets fuel at the station, then stops at the bar where he meets a girl. What kind of trouble can they get into?

INL still requires a security clearance, and most of it is posted No Trespassing. There is an ancient train track into the facility, and it isn't hard to imagine a black train, accompanied by black helicopters, shipping some top secret item out. Of course there would be an anarchist or something screwing it all up.

There is an atomic museum further down the road, but we chose to pass. It makes me sad, but you don't leave a puppy in a hot car. You just don't.

Maybe the “man in black” and the waitress have to flee through Craters of the Moon. Want to write a late 50s or early sixties Cold War story, start your research right here. Maybe you want to try a diesel-punk story with some older technology.

I've had a drink at the Little Alie-Inn in Rachel, Nevada. This is where Area 51 is. I've also trekked through the mountains about fifty feet beyond the nuclear test site outside Las Vegas. These places get over used though. This is an area that has a lot of potential.

What would you do with this setup? I'll schedule this to go live on Sunday, since I have to hook up the camper and head home.



Filed under The Idea Mill, Writing

32 responses to “Let’s all Speculate, Part 2

  1. Quite post-apocalyptic, Craig. And what I didn’t say on the last post was that those overdue super volcanoes freak me out – like waiting Armageddon, hiding underground.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. carmens007

    Creepy places…. Great setting for a modern Western movie…. or story!
    Area 51! Wow!!!
    So many things are told, so many conspiratorial scenarios behind it. I do believe aliens were/are kept there and helped mankind improve its technology. See the Stealth planes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, so very, very cool…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The setting reminds me of the Fallout games. A little bit like the Shattered States, but I didn’t go the nuclear disaster route. Thought that would be over the top since it makes a place uninhabitable for years. Unless a person discovered they had a natural immunity to radiation. Just have them be the last human wandering a land of mutants.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of great story inspiration there! Atomic City, in the running for best place name in America?
    I once travelled just south of Arco, in the Idaho Falls, Pocatello region, I vaguely recalled Arco from the map many years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love ghost towns. Just standing in the street gives one inspiration. I love that bar with the 7up sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. The abandoned buildings scream murder site, don’t they? Very cool. Have a safe trip home.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love photos of abandoned places. I have a nephew who is an armature photographer and does some great shots of abandoned sites. Um…that conning tower? Very freaky. I would have had major qualms serving on that sub!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great find and captures on the abandoned buildings. Drool-worthy nostalgia!

    Let’s see, I’d probably place some pale-faced neurotic in the scene. Someone who can’t deal with heat or sun. I’d watch as our protagonist slowly loses her mind as she tries to escape the barren landscape. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yeah, this is a great setting for a 50s story with a bomb shelter just over the horizon. Or a zombie story. Or a photoshoot for any lucky photographer and willing model. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • At one time I owned an awesome 35mm camera and a box of lenses. Working with models was a dream, but my tiny town didn’t lend itself to that. I concentrated on wildlife and scenery. I gave it all up in disgust once film disappeared. The ghost town would make for some awesome pictures.


  11. WOW! Amazing captures and story! Thanks for posting~

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m seeing the park roll back and the con tower rising… rising… with a gigantic ship underneath! And it roars off the fight Godzilla!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your last picture of the abandoned café spoke to me most, dreams of a life tried out and abandoned. Perhaps it’s because a place designed for recreation and good times now looks so forlorn and failed. Unfortunately that’s not terribly apocalyptic, but a sure-fire literary prize winner. Mmm-hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

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