I’ve been wanting to go to Kitt Peak National Observatory and I finally pick Thursday, March 9, to go. As the crow flies, it’s maybe 20-25 miles from me.
Kitty Peak as viewed from Hwy 286 and Britten Ranch Rd.
Since I’m not a crow, driving there is around 45-50 miles. The last 12 miles are up the mountain which is close to 7000 feet elevation. There are…I believe I read….20 observatories there.
In the visitor center if you look at the pictures and displays and read the info, get ready to have your mind blown and boggled completely. You need to expand your imagination and comprehension beyond capacity when you really try to think of the distances and time involved in the boundless universe that our galaxy and solar system are just a tiny part of.
There is just no grasping it! When I try, insanity beckons.
The public can enter three of the observatories on their own, or with one of the tours that are given daily.
- McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. This is the worlds largest solar telescope.
This is the solar telescope. The shaft you see is 500 feet long, 300 of them are underground.
2. 2.1 meter telescope, one of the first telescopes built here in 1964, and still in high demand every night.
3. Mayall 4 meter telescope, built in 1973 and the largest optical telescope on Kitt Peak.
There is a nightly program open to the public as well.
This time I took no tour but I did go inside the solar telescope and listened to a part of a tour some school kids were having.
Eventually I would like to take each tour and attend the night program. Dogs are allowed to walk all over the grounds but not to attend tours or go in buildings so I’ll need to work something out.
An employee helped me find a shady place to park ( which wasn’t actually a parking space but was ok to park in he said), and I left Joy and Shiloh in JR with the windows open while I went to the visitor center and the solar telescope. Then I returned and we had a picnic lunch in a picnic area near the parking lot. (yes, I brought their lunches too!). After lunch I took them walking around the grounds, so a good time was had by all.
Here Joy and Shiloh are admiring the Flamingo. (Huh?) 😂
If you come this way, I HIGHLY recommend visiting Kitt Peak. Look it up on line for tour times and such.
It’s starting to get what I consider hot, here. It’s been in the 80’s daily, with threats of 90’s. To be honest, it’s been fine in the shade with the nice breeze we’ve been getting. Nights are still in the 50’s so that’s been ok. But the higher temperatures are putting me in mind of moving on.
Thought I’d show you some spring desert blooms. I don’t know the names of any of them.
I thought by this time I would know exactly where I want to go and what I want to do, but in reality, I just have some generalized ideas so far.
My thought is to head mostly north for awhile. I was thinking of Mesa Verde, Cortez and Durango for starters, until I realized it’s a bit early in the season to be heading into the Rocky Mountains while towing a trailer. I may very well want to stop in Camp Verde, at Little House Customs, AZ and see if Konrad can help out with a couple of possible developing problems on WS, which I’ll get into another time.
Eventually I’d like to get up into South Dakota, then North Dakota, and there Colleen and Fred, who stay here winters, have invited us to visit them at their home. They have clued me in to some interesting places to visit while I have a ‘base station’ near their home.
From there I have thoughts of traveling across Minnesota, into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, take my time going through there, cross the Mackinaw Bridge and travel through the Lower Peninsula visiting some friends on the way. (Michigan was home for me from age 5 until I was almost 38).
These are very soft jello plans and I’m not sure where I would go from there. By then it will be summer and I’ll be in hot muggy territory. Being hot and muggy makes me especially crabby, and more importantly Joy doesn’t tolerate it well, and it can increase her respitory problems.
I swear, this little cactus at the bottom of my hill has a face. He watches us when we walk by.
So we’ll see how it works out. Usually I make reservations up the kazoo (?) and as of now I’ve made none.
As I type this I’m waiting for JR who is getting her oil changed, along with all the trimmings.
We’ll be moving on soon, I’m just not sure exactly when yet.
The full moon setting this morning.