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10/17/2010

Get Away Weekend

Not related directly to astronomy but I did find a new observing area that is only about an hour and a half from my home. It is around 8000 feet and has a wide open view all around it and is in a blue zone. The Salt Lake and Provo Light domes are to the northwest here so not as much of an impact as looking west at Wolf Creek Pass. Too late in the year for me to try it out but next summer, I look forward to doing so. I found it as we drove south for the weekend to spend some time in the family cabin. Also, at the end of this is something related to the science of geology.

This image is near the new observing site. I haven't transferred that image over yet so when I do I'll add it. This is just below the site I picked so the hill doesn't obstruct. It does provide an image of what you can see in the area:

























I'll add a few more images to show you the country. These were taken above where the maples and oaks are in their red and gold/yellows so the only thing we see here are the white firs and the golden aspen. Still wonderful in my opinion.



From the southern Wasatch Range on a drive called the Nebo loop that we took and did a nice hike that day.



























The beginning of the hike started down, but we had to come back up! I love hiking in the fall.



























This image shows the view from near the top of the trail and shows what the observing spot is like which is similar to that far ridge (but that isn't it, it would be about 2 miles to the left in this image). Nice and open with great views.



























Finally, here is an aspen in its fall color splendor. Love the contrast with the sky and the white firs around it.




























Besides the hike, one destination that we did was to go to the Devil's Kitchen. Not sure how it got that name, I'll need to research it but probably because it is such a contrast as you'll see in a minute. The Devil's Kitchen is made up of Hoodoos, geological rock formations that are formed from sedimentary rock and hard rock that are eroded over time. This erosion is a combination of frost wedging (the freezing and thawing of the rock) and water erosion. See, I'm getting the science into this. The result is what we see here. The Devil's Kitchen here is sometimes called a miniature Bryce Canyon. So here are the images. Makes me wonder sometimes what type of formations we may find on Mars if we ever get there.























































































































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