Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Moab - Road Bike and Potash

Greetings Earthlings!  Yesterday was spent vacuuming out the bed of the truck and washing all of the accumulated dirt and dust from Bluff off of the bicycles.  They were just filthy.

Today we got the road bikes out.  There is a lovely paved trail that goes up the hill towards Arches.  It's 7% at one segment.  When we were coming back down the hill, I was feeling pleased with my climbing, until confronted by kids riding up the hill on heavy 29er mountain bikes with really fat tires.

After the beautiful downhill, the best downhill, we rode up the trail along the Colorado River.  It's just lovely out there.

Later we drove out towards the potash plant.  Pretty please take a moment to review the post from two years ago.  We were out there after significant rainfall.  The parking lot to the Jug Handle Arch was under water and mud.  The rail line to the potash plant had been undermined in many places.
The rail line has been repaired.  There's new ballast in place and it's up and running. 

The UMTRA project is proceeding.   This is a huge undertaking to remove 16 million tons of uranium mine tailings which were dumped along the Colorado river.  The Moab Project ships 1 trainload of tailings Monday and Wednesday. The trains have up to 36 railcars, each holding 4 lidded containers, for a total of about 5,000 tons of tailings per shipment. Tailing shipments began in April, 2009, and are expected to continue through about 2032, depending on annually appropriated funds. 

Note the phrase "annually appropriated funds."  Our 45th president wants to gut things like Superfund Site cleanups, Great Lakes cleanups and climate change research.  Fifty programs are on the hit list.  What if this goes on the block?  It's a DOE project, so maybe the fact that it's not run by the EPA will save it.

They're hard to see, but those are the shipping containers on a rail line up the hill.  There is a crane that lifts each container onto a truck.  The truck drives the container  down the hill to the clean up site.

 See the orange cranes?  They take the containers off the trucks and put them in the yard until needed.

We're not sure if they're digging here, or spreading new dirt.  There is a wiki on the project.

It's a really big deal.

In other news, how horrified are you that #45 lied to the world about the location of the USS Carl Vinson?  When he said he was "sending an armada" to North Korea, the ships were actually on their way to Australia.  The Chinese newspapers are making fun of the US.  Even worse was what a candidate for the S. Korean presidency said.
“What was said was very important for the national security of South Korea,” Hong said to the Journal’s reporters. “If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”
The word of this country can no longer be relied upon by our allies.  It makes me sad.  The full article can be found here.

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