Sunday, December 3, 2017

Point Imperial and Bison, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

These were taken the Sunday into the Grand Canyon Star Party (North Rim), in June 2017. I set up my telescopes and did astronomy outreach on the first Saturday and Sunday of the star party, then headed back home the next day.
The entire star party goes on for eight days, over two weekends (Saturday through the next Saturday). This year's ran the nights of June 17 through the 24th.

This was my second year volunteering at the North Rim. As mentioned in other posts, I enjoyed this party, as I do, most public outreach events in national parks. You generally get a better educated and appreciative crowd at these National Park events, although, I must admit, this may be changing. In particular, the spread of social media means that, especially for events near large urban centers (like Joshua Tree, which I may post of, later), you often get folks who don't really know what they're going to, but do know that it's "a happening," and they want to come.
Meanwhile, for the volunteer, part of the fun (besides looking at faint fuzzies from a dark sky location, and sharing that with the public) is being able to explore a bit of the park in the daylight hours.
The Grand Canyon is such a long drive from southern California that the time exploring is probably less than the time driving. I definitely didn't have time to see even the more accessible trails, last year. So I visited two new overlook areas, this year: Cape Royal, and Point Imperial. I posted about Cape Royal previously. The first two shots of this post were from Point Imperial.
Meanwhile, the third shot was from a burro ride along the rim and the last two were from the road to the north of the Rim, on my drive back home. Lots of bison live in this area. On occasion, they graze in numbers up to a few dozen.
I saw both bison and deer on both trips to the North Rim But this group was particularly photogenic.

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