Monday, May 21, 2012

Full Moon Hike

I did full moon hikes at Dead Horse Point and they were pretty popular, so I decided to try some here at Fort Churchill. There is an easy 0.6-mile trail that goes around the ruins of the Fort so I thought I'd start by talking about the moon (on May 5--the first hike--it was a Perigee moon, where it was at its closest point to the earth and a full moon) then talking about the history of the Fort. As we walked through the fort ruins, I wanted to stop and talk about the buildings and what life was like for the soldiers. I made hardtack, which they would have eaten as they traveled because it's light and stores well.

The moon just starting to rise over the mountains.

We advertise in the newspapers, through Nevada Magazine, the Silver Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada Council on Tourism, Facebook and Google Calendar. Even with all that I didn't expect to have 51 people show up! The region manager was there--brought his kids--so I was really nervous because it was the first one and I didn't know what to expect. He told me later that his kids went back for seconds on the hardtack (I thought it was nasty, but I'm glad the kids liked it!).

This is the line of people from the museum down the trail, and more people still hanging out at the museum. I'm curious to see if we have that many people in the next few months.

It ended up going really well--since I was so nervous, I made sure I knew the material really well. I did have to condense some of the stops because sometimes it's a long wait for the whole crowd to catch up every time, but it still lasted about an hour.

Right when I started to talk, the sprinklers went off on the lawn! No one got soaked (maybe a dog or two) but I was still month, the sprinklers are going off the day before! I never had to worry about sprinklers at Dead Horse Point, because we didn't have grass to water! Oops...

It ended up being a really nice night--no wind, no bugs, good temperature...I was happy!

This isn't the clearest picture, but you can just make out the Fort ruins lit up by the moon. I'm thinking maybe it should be scheduled later, when the moon is already up in the sky so it's brighter, but it was also fun to see it rise.

Steller's Jay!

It didn't take long for the visitor to arrive after we set up the campsite...

Got any chips?

Nothing yet....I'll come back later.

This Steller's Jay kept an eye on the campsite in case we left an un-guarded bag of chips or hot dog bun laying around.

Solar Eclipse

This will just be a short post about the eclipse yesterday. Dave tried to get a picture of the sun but the camera wouldn't cooperate (I think he's the one who told me it's bad for the camera...hahaha). I remembered that you can put a pinhole in a piece of paper and project that image onto another paper so we did that instead. Dave tried to get a picture of that too, but he kept blocking the sun with the camera so it didn't work.
This is what it would have looked like, except our image was smaller. The clouds came over before we got to see the whole thing but we did watch it get dark while the sun was covered.

It was pretty exciting--I like that kind of stuff, and it was way better than the movie we were watching!