Day 19 part 1: Biosphere 2

We stopped by the Catalina State Park visitor center/ranger station before leaving that morning.  We bought a couple of books:  one about Sonora desert wildlife and another about saguaros.  Also bought a souvenir for Pablo in honor of how much he loves running around in these wide open spaces.  We talked with the park ranger about all we had seen on the trail and at our RV site, and about unschooling.  Turns out the abundance of insects we were seeing is actually pretty rare there with the exception of the rainy season, which was just ending when we were there.  He also recommended a trip to

Bark Ranger

On our way to Tuscon the previous day, we had noticed signs for tours of Biosphere 2.  Remember that?  From the 90's?  So, on day 19 we took another unexpected side trip that turned out to be a fascinating place to see research in action and learn about ecology, various biomes, water cycles, carbon & climate studies,  conservation, history, and, well, Biosphere 1!

 Lots to read and look at and do while waiting for our tour to start

Rainforest inside what used to be the sealed Biosphere 2

 Biosphere 2 Ocean 

 Biospehere 2 desert

 Our tour guide, and potentially Maya's next hairstyle

 Engineering area under Biosphere 2
I can't remember if the wind was from a machine or if this was 
where we were changing rooms with varying air pressure.  
Maybe Matt or one of the kids will come along and remember...

Learning how the "lung" worked to accomodate air pressure changes
 within the sealed building as temperatures rose and fell

 The kitchen used by the researches who lived in Biosphere 2

Resting for a bit in what had been the dining room

 A variety of current research areas outside

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