Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Hike 2014.056A -- Hole in the Wall and Mojave Star Party
a loop of the Barber Peak trail and the inner part of the Rings Trail (although, apparently, I also sometimes do include loop the outside part of the Rings Trail).
Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers from making this trip). Being first, I was worried for a while that perhaps the others had been so deterred the cloudy forecast as to have begged off and cancelled. But, before long, the others I expected did arrive.
Though, even before they did, I started setting up my telescope. I was so impressed with the nice banners and posters made for this event, and the turnout of potential viewers was so great that I didn't want to disappoint them, in case the skies did clear, even briefly.
As I waited, I reflected on the fact that this was probably my tenth or so time supporting a Mojave National Preserve Conservancy's star party.
This year's was part of the twentieth anniversary celebration of the California Desert Protection Act, which created the Mojave National Preserve, and also expanded and "upgraded" Joshua Tree and Death Valley from national monuments to national parks.
As dinner time ap-proached, we finally got a few short peeks at the moon. The first probably 90 minutes of dark was more of this intermittent moon viewing.
As the evening wore on, we had longer and better chances to view the night sky. Of course, with the large gibbous moon, deep sky objects were less impressive than they would normally be from such a dark sky location. Still, you could see more here with a large moon than you could see back home with no moon, at all.
By 10:30pm, it was getting dark. And, with no prepared sky tour agenda, I had pretty much show everyone what I could easily find. So I started breaking down my telescope around then. With the temperature dropping and Las Vegas (Henderson, actually) just a bit more than two hours away, my wife and I decided to leave the star party that night (unusual for us) and make it to place with actual beds and running water. So ended my Fall 2014 Mojave National Preserve star party experience.
Hike-wise, this wasn't really much of a hike. But I linked it here because of the star party, and as a lead in for my previous post, on the new directions to the Sloan Canyon trailhead, in Henderson.