The other morning, my coworker and I stood shivering in the pre-dawn, ready to board a tour bus for the "Old Pueblo." Now, I've never claimed to have even a passing interest in science ... but this Tucson excursion was, after all, COMPLIMENTARY.
In spite of my lack of (sufficient) caffeine -- and those who I quickly deduced weren't "morning people" -- our cheery driver soon won everyone over. Don't you love a fella who makes unscheduled pit stops without being asked - lol!
Oh, but I would have liked to stop at Picacho Peak -- one of the prettiest vistas along the I-10 corridor.
Picacho Peak marks the western-most battle of the American Civil War (April 15, 1862).
...Another day, perhaps.
Having registered downtown, we boarded another bus to the Oro Valley and Biosphere 2.
This controversial (and costly) project was "the last serious attempt to lock people away in a sealed environment to simulate the claustrophobic conditions of a space base on a distant planet."
"Planet in a Bottle"
The mission began in September 1991 and finished two years and 20 minutes later.
4 men and 4 women lived among replica ecosystems: a cloud forest, savanna grassland, a desert, ocean, and marshes. Each day's diet was comprised of bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, and rice. (My inner carnivore wept!)
Yikes ... I don't think so!!!
Later our conversation included this poser: "Would you do it?"
Even were I so inclined, I don't believe I could wrap my mind around the idea of being IMPRISONED ... limited to any physical contact with the "outside" world.
Come day's end, I was startled when our driver excited the freeway ... in middle of NO-WHERE.
Ah-ha! The Marana airport graveyard!
But straight ahead ... an imposing gate's signage read, "Authorized Personnel Only."
Not to be deterred, our driver veered left and around the side of a neighboring farmhouse. Feeling mischievous, are we?
Covered head-to-toe in dust, tasting the dust ...
We were still delighted to traipse up and down the flight-line...
Feeling almost truant!
All in all, a fun time. I have to admit, it felt good to step outside my ordinary.
Are you, perhaps, interested in visiting Biosphere 2?
I've TWO tickets with YOUR name on it ... first-come, first-served! :)
Have a great week, everyone!