Moonrise over Hernandez is one of Ansel Adams’ most famous photographs, of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico. I grew up looking at those mountains and spent a summer as a wilderness ranger there.
But by the 1960’s, the air was filthy with smoke from the Four Corners Power Plant. The plume from that plant was the only man-made feature Apollo astronauts could see from space.
I was angry about this and worked to get the Clean Air Act passed, which forced Arizona Public Service to put electrostatic precipitators on their smoke stacks. The air is much cleaner now.
Most of my rangering was done right behind that peak. An incredibly beautiful place, which has had meters of snow this month.
Easy to see why Oppenheimer chose this spot for the Manhattan Project.