Craig's big road trip

Day 27 - Kennedy Space Center
The starting point
Day 1 - Seattle to Yakima
Day 2 - Yakima to Bend
Day 3 - Bend to Mt. Shasta
Day 4 - Mt. Shasta to Oakdale
Day 5 - Oakdale to Tehachapi
Yosemite National Park
Day 6 - Tehachapi to Las Vegas
Day 7-10 in Las Vegas
Day 11 - Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon N.P.
Day 12 - Grand Canyon to Kayenta
Day 13 - Monument Valley
Day 14 - Kayenta to Telluride
Day 15 - Telluride
Day 16 - Telluride to Glenwood Springs
Day 17 - Glenwood Springs to Idaho Springs
Day 18 - Idaho Springs to Golden
Day 19 - Golden to Amarillo
Day 20 - Amarillo to Tyler
Day 21 - Tyler to Lake Charles
Day 22 - Lake Charles to Waveland
Day 24 - Waveland to Pensacola
Day 25 - Pensacola to Gainesville
Day 26 - Gainesville to Titusville
Day 27 - Kennedy Space Center
Day 28 - Titusville to Clearwater
The finishing point

Sunday April 27, 2003.
I spent the whole day in NASA's Kennedy Space Center.  This is the home of the space shuttle fleet, and the site for all of NASA's rocket launches.
I paid for the deluxe "Up Close" tour, hoping to see the facilities in more detail, but actually, it just means that the tour bus drives a little closer to the launch pads.
When the official tour finished at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, I was feeling a little disappointed.  I had earlier learned much more and seen things in better detail by watching the movie "Apollo 13", which I saw five times.  That was until I walked out of the last presentation theatre in the Apollo/Saturn V Center. 
The exit door of the last presentation theatre led me straight into the exhaust pipes of a real Saturn V rocket!  Oh my God!!  That thing defies description.  It is easily the most impressive man-made thing I have ever seen in my life.  I got my money's worth in the next one hour, just browsing the Saturn V exhibit in detail.  That was clearly the most impressive and satisfying part of all the displays.
The other really worthwhile attraction there is an IMAX theatre, showing two different films.  The first is a summary of the space shuttle program, narrated by Walter Cronkite, and is intended to encourage everyone after the recent loss of the Columbia spacecraft.  It was very good, especially the scenes of shuttle launches, and the views of Earth from the shuttle in orbit.  The second film was even better, excellent in fact, and narrated by Tom Cruise.  It was in 3D (we wore special 3D glasses) and was all about the construction of the space station.  Incredible.
Finally, the other big surprise was to learn that this NASA site is completely within a nature reserve.  The guide said there are about five thousand alligators living within NASA's boundaries, and about fifteen thousand wild pigs, as well as three hundred species of birdlife.  We saw some of the alligators in the watery ditches along the road side.  The alligators I saw were only about one metre long.

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