Follow my journey through the southern tier of America on my bicycle through my blog.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 31 (27 Riding): OFF DAY

Random thoughts of the day:
-DG is awesome!
-I am so excited for tonight
-It's amazing how nice people can be to someone they don't know/just met
-The visitor's center at the observatory only sells starbursts and milky ways...that's clever
-So that's what Jupiter looks like up close...awesome!

Today was a good day and a great night! John's family was nice enough to be quiet until I woke up around 11 or so. Then I read my emails and saw one from an awesome member at Wanny who wanted to pay for the telescope viewing tonight. That was super nice of him, thank you!! I then went down to the visitor's center to see if they had spots left and they did which got me really excited about the night. Plus I didn't have to pay, which was a welcome relief obviously, that saved me $50 or in other words, about 8-10 meals. I went back up to John's house and had lunch with his family. I really can't thank them all enough. They put up with me for 2 nights, fed me, gave me access to their house as if I lived there and were all super nice. Plus John gave me an amazing private tour and a wealth of knowledge that I didn't have before. I spent the afternoon working on trying to plan the next 10 days or so and finally got to writing the thank you notes that I have been putting off :/

Now on to the telescope viewing. All I can say is that it was everything I thought and hoped it would be. I saw Jupiter and 2 of it's moons up close, multiple different kinds of nebulas, star clusters, stars dying, stars being born, and more. It was unbelievably cool. I've always wanted to look at the stars through a telescope and to be able to do that, on a huge research grade telescope besides, it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip thus far, if not the best highlight. I tried to get a picture through the telescope with my IPhone but only managed a glimpse at O'Ryan's Nebula...I think you can tell which one it is below. It was so cool to see such amazing things that probably 98% of people don't get to see. My favorite was a star cluster with a nebula inside of it. A nebula is essentially a star exploding, or dying. It's a bright spot in the middle of a lion's mane looking sphere of cloudy light. Super cool. I got really lucky with the weather too because it was perfect for viewing. Even without a telescope you could see every star in the sky. I don't think I've ever seen so many!
Plus I met some really nice, neat people who were doing the tour as well. I think they are going to follow my blog and if so, nice to have you on board!

Thank you again to DG for paying for it, what a great gift! Next time you'll have to come on the trip with me! Thanks to John and his family as well. for everything.

I have a big day ahead of me tomorrow. I want to get as far as I can in order to make Sunday's ride to the edge of El Paso a little shorter because the weather is iffy on Sunday. The next few days are looking cold and very windy...I just hope they're tailwinds!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Easily could be the inspiration for the lyrics to the song "America."