New Dark Sites in Utah from Another Hobby . . . .
Today I was at Sam's Club with my wife, picking up some stuff we need and I saw this book:
I thumbed threw it as I have always looked for rocks and minerals when I am out in the desert or the mountains of Utah. Then it dawned on me. Many of the locations listed here for RockHounding, provided excellent locations for observing! I purchased the book and went through it in depth. I found 11 new sites out in the West Desert of Utah and out west past Delta Utah that offer excellent locations. All are on BLM land and I have to say I am quite excited. By day one can RockHound, and by night, one can observe! What an incredible opportunity to combine two interests into one. I am going to share some of the type of rock and minerals you can find.
Above you can see what is called Vernon Wonderstone. It is a beautiful wonderstone and there is so much in the location it is at that needs a home, you can't go wrong with this. In truth, it is about 25 minutes from where I observe and on Saturday, the 4th of July myself, my wife and my son are heading out to visit some of these sites. Here is one more example of Vernon Wonderstone.
The next area is well known to Rockhounds and it is Topaz Cove northwest of Delta. Here is a link to how to get there: LINK. Your about 40 to 50 miles west of any major light pollution source here and the mountains/hills around you protect you also. It's dark here, and as an FYI, to observe I would set up outside of the cove as you have more open views there. In the area by day you can find Apache Tears: They are Obsidian Volcanic rock, rounded and smooth and are rather cool.
Anyway, I thought I would share my findings on this and show how one hobby can help in terms of finding places for another hobby, astronomy to go and also provide something to do during the day if your camping over. Enjoy and my star light be found every night you wish to observe.
EDIT: If your looking for some places to both Rockhound and Observe from, this map provides a good place to start. Note, please make sure you are on Public Land (BLM or Forest Service) if your camping and collecting. Here is the LINK to the Google Map on Rockhounding.