October 17th, 2005

full steam ahead

Strange things by the side of the road # 73: the Stanford linear accelerator


Stanford linear accelerator
Originally uploaded by marypcb.
As you drive down 280 in the sun, enjoying the fact that there's less traffic than 101 and a better view of the reservoir, you see this long straight building. That's a mile long and completely straight and utterly unexpected: it's a linear accelerator. One day I want to take the tour and see if you really can see the curvature of the earth inside.

Note: a convertible like the PT Cruiser is great for taking photos out of a moving car without all that irritating bodywork ;-)
full steam ahead

Rainbow in steam in redwoods


Rainbow in steam in redwoods
Originally uploaded by marypcb.
Taking the steam train through the redwoods at Roaring Camp, we saw the steam plume over the train but every now and then the driver released a gush of steam that blew out into the woods. Often we could see the steam picking out the beams of sunlight slanting down through the trees, but just once the angle of the sun and the dampness of the steam combined to make a rainbow that rippled through the woods.

Thanks to oceansong for the number of times she mentioned the steam trains while driving us over 17!