Day 658: Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, NCAR, and Celestial Seasonings

Today we visited Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, which was an Army chemical weapons depot turned superfund site.  The refuge video presentation and visitor center were well done:



Sadly, there’s no Junior Ranger program here.  We drove the nature drive in the refuge, and spotted several bird species and a pair of bison.

Continuing north to Boulder, we visited the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  NCAR is a private-sector non-profit funded almost exclusively by tax dollars via the National Science Foundation:


We attended the noontime tour which was a summary of the various exhibit spaces in the building.  After that, we explored the exhibits on our own, which included an exhibit that allows visitors to pass their hand through a “cloud”:


In the basement, we looked at the old supercomputer used for weather simulations.  The new system is too large for this facility, and is located in Wyoming:


Another exhibit talked about the architectural design process for the facility:



The other exhibits talked about how the atmosphere and climate work, including the interaction between the Sun and the Earth’s atmosphere:





Our last stop for the day was the factory tour at Celestial Seasonings, the largest boutique tea company in the US.  We saw the milling room where the ingredients are ground up, as well as the packaging line from carton assembly to robotic arms that stack filled cartons on pallets.  We also visited the sinus-opening peppermint room, where milled peppermint is stacked floor to ceiling, ready to be used as an ingredient in several flavors of tea.

No photography was allowed inside, so you won’t get to see photos of us in hair nets (and a beard net for me!).  Here’s the outside of the building:


The kids have started loading up their new Junior Ranger wall hangings:


Day 657: Hammonds Candy Factory Tour
Endomondo Embeds Broken, Hopefully only Temporarily

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