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  #1  
Old 10-02-2011, 06:27 PM
n5lp's Avatar
n5lp n5lp is offline
fugio ergo sum
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Carlsbad, NM
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Default Thinking really really long term

Mr. Jeff Bezos; some people are criticizing him for the way he spends his money, but it is his money and I am kind of enjoying following some of his projects. Some of them are pretty near me in an area north of Van Horn, Texas. A few months ago I started hearing about the 10,000 year clock that Mr. Bezos has reportedly put more than 40 million dollars into. I went to the Website and saw that the location is in the Sierra Diablo Mountain Range. That range is almost entirely privately owned so it makes it difficult to try to find out where this project is or get a look at it, but, I have an RV.

But first, breakfast at the monthly Artesia fly-in. This thing is getting better and better. First Saturday of every month.





RV-6 builder Tom Benedict at right

"There I was flat on my back at 10,000 feet"





After a leisurely breakfast and chit chat, I headed down toward Van Horn. Over the Guadalupe Mountains I took this photo with my phone and beamed it down to the earthlings. Good 3G coverage out here in the middle of nowhere at 8,500 feet. Sometimes it happens.





This is the Sierra Diablo range from the busy ramp at Van Horn (from another trip). I think these mountains are beautiful. I just did a little research and found they have more complex geology than I had thought. There reportedly are exposures of metamorphic pre-cambrian rock in places.





This is the kind of stuff I had noticed before. Amazing karstic fluting in carbonate rock.



I wasn't sure I would be able to find the project. The only information was that it is in the Sierra Diablo and from photos I saw it was up high. It turns out it was really obvious and I zeroed in pretty quick on the site at a high point around 6,600 feet. Here I am approaching the place for the first time from the north.




Closer up



This is from the southeast and shows some of the karst features of the area and what I presume to be the visitor access down at the bottom of the cliff. Visitors will need to hike up about 1,500 feet from the desert plain below.




I find it challenging to leave a tool in my hangar for a year without it failing due to corrosion or lubrication problems or dust or combinations of those things.

It is a very interesting project from an engineering standpoint. How can you make a device work for 10,000 years with no outside power input or maintenance? The Egyptian pyramids are thought to be around 5,000 years old and they don't have to do much but sit there. This thing has moving parts that need to keep moving without welding themselves together from extended periods of close proximately and little movement. The power source needs to be reliable and simple and the whole device needs to be shielded from the rigors of nature.

I think it is a cool exercise and am really glad I could so easily go down and get a glimpse of what is going on.





The site is at 31º 27.064' N, 104º 54.462' W and I was back home way too early for lunch.
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Last edited by n5lp : 10-02-2011 at 07:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2011, 06:34 PM
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Fascinating geology. Beats concrete jungles of Big Apple for sure. I want to visit your area some day Larry can you give me a tour?
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2011, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
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...Larry can you give me a tour?
Absolutely Vlad. As a layman I only understand tiny slivers of information so we should be able to do the tour in 6 weeks or so.
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2011, 07:11 AM
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AlexPeterson AlexPeterson is offline
 
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Larry, your reports of these cool things out there are really enjoyable - thanks!
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2011, 07:19 AM
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Louise Hose Louise Hose is offline
 
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Default Don't believe him, Vlad!

Quote:
Originally Posted by n5lp View Post
Absolutely Vlad. As a layman I only understand tiny slivers of information so we should be able to do the tour in 6 weeks or so.
I lived in the area for a little over four years and didn't exhaust Larry's ever-expanding knowledge about the curiosities of southeast New Mexico and west Texas.

I long for the days when LOE meant a trip to New Mexico. Nice report and photos, Larry. Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2011, 07:53 AM
Jack Tyler Jack Tyler is offline
 
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Larry, I really enjoyed your 'mystery runway' chronology and was kinda disappointed when it ran its course. Ahh, but now there's the long now.

Thanks very much for bring us not just travelogues and great pics...but also an invitation to explore. Very much appreciated.

For those who have 2 mins to read a very interesting intro on the 10,000 year clock, take a look at http://longnow.org/clock/

Jack
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:32 AM
Bill Ervin Bill Ervin is offline
 
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Don't let him fool you Vlad, the man is a wealth of knowledge and he gives a great tour. We did a couple of them when I lived out in Artesia.


Larry, Its good to see so many airplanes on the Artesia ramp. I remember when my plane was the only one (outside of oil companies airplanes) on the ramp for weeks and weeks. They must have a very active manager there now.
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Last edited by Bill Ervin : 10-03-2011 at 09:38 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2011, 04:15 PM
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Alan Carroll Alan Carroll is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5lp View Post
Mr. Jeff Bezos; some people are criticizing him for the way he spends his money, but it is his money and I am kind of enjoying following some of his projects. Some of them are pretty near me in an area north of Van Horn, Texas.
Nice photos.

As it turns out the ranch that Mr. Bezos bought for his spaceport contains some very interesting rocks (in the area south of the Guads). For decades geologists used to visit that area on field trips, but unfortunately access was completely closed off when the ranch changed hands.
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2011, 07:14 PM
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Default Neat!

Thanks for the write up on this. I listened to a science podcast a few months ago that talked about this project - interesting...
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2011, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
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...For decades geologists used to visit that area on field trips, but unfortunately access was completely closed off when the ranch changed hands.
There are some downsides to Mr. Bezos owning all that land. I have spoken with one of his ranch neighbors about how difficult it is to deal with normal neighbor issues, like some of my cows got on your place. Apparently you have to talk to lawyers in Seattle. Curious, since Jeff grew up doing ranch work.
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