Sunday a friend and I headed South to the mountains, grass, and biosphere!! Our first stop was the Biosphere. We started there because it was on the way down to the mountain we’d planned to visit, but in retrospect, we should have gone all the way South first and then made our way up.
The Biosphere was really neat! Plus, it looks all cool and space-agey. It was built in the late 1980s through early 1990s, and for two years 8 scientists lived in it completely sealed off from the world. The original intention of the Biosphere was to see if it was possible to create a place inhabitable by humans on another planet. There were some issues involving oxygen (apparently the concrete was good at sucking oxygen out of the air and the plants didn’t photosynthesize as well as expected) and food (the plants also didn’t produce as much food as they expected), but they learned a lot living in the Biosphere.
Today the Biosphere is used for various scientific experiments, most of them involving water or lack there of. The rainforest is about to be put through a drought to see what will happen so that the scientists can get an idea of what’s next for rainforests around the world as weather patterns begin to change. You can see the ocean up there where the scientists who lived in the Biosphere jumped from the rafters and the cliffs into the water for fun when they weren’t conducting experiments or farming. All in all the Biosphere contains a rainforest, an ocean, a savannah, a mangrove forest, a fog desert, a human living space, and they’re about to build some mountain hillsides in order to study the drainage of water through the ground.
It was a really cool place to visit! I learned a lot and had a really fun time. I think the experiments that have been done and are currently in progress are all really interesting and will hopefully yield useful results that can be applied to our planet.
After the Biosphere, we had planned to take the ski lift up the mountain you can see in the very first photo in this post, but then we found out that the ski lift was another 2 hours from the Biosphere. Plus, it looked like the weather was starting to turn (which it definitely did!). Instead, we headed into town and found a yummy Mexican restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, we drove through some pouring rain to a national park where we found an 8 mile loop to drive around and look at the landscape. Luckily, we did not plan to hike because it continued to pour on and off the whole time we were driving around. We spent a lot of time in the car, but it stopped raining a couple of times and we were able to get out. The rain did provide some neat waterfalls like the one below.
After our drive round the park, we decided it was time to head back. On the way home we ran into the worst thunderstorm I’ve ever driven through. It was insane!! The completely torrential downpour was blowing sideways across the road, and you could barely see a thing. Luckily we made it through safely, but the whole drive back was rainy and then it continued to storm all evening. This monsoon season is crazy!!
Today’s Good Thing: I’m going to have a relaxing evening after work and catch up on the Olympics and my to do list.