Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day one on the Road

I didn't have Internet access yesterday so I am writing 2 blogs today, depending on time.
We left home a little late yesterday and I still forgot some things! My GPS took me on back roads until almost Kerrville, Texas. I wish it would have warned me that after Kerrville and for well over 100 miles, there is pretty much nothing. No rest areas, no gas stations and pretty much no scenery. I finally found a lone gas station/restaurant and hurried in to use the rest room. The one unisex bathroom was being used by someone very slow. So, I had to use the bathroom in my camper while sitting in the middle of their parking lot. Of course the dogs had the whole world as their bathroom!
At about 5 pm, I was getting ready to find a place to camp. I saw signs for Marfa, but I didn't know how far it was off of I 10. That's when a navigator would come in handy! So I continued until I saw a sign for Balmorhea State Park. Many years ago I went there to be SCUBA certified, but I didn't remember much about it except the lake. When we arrived, the park office was closed but one could register and put your payment in a locked box. The campground was only about 1/4th full so I was able to find a spot near the restrooms, my favorite place! I loved the southwestern look of the camp ground.

I took Seymour and Zooey for a walk around the park and came across a guy in a tent camper with cameras and telescopes set up. His name was Don and he said he was doing a Star Party at 7:30 that night.

Of course I came back at 7:30 and listened in awe at his knowledge of the stars and planets. Guess who was the only geek taking notes?
Did you know that Zenith is the top point in the sky. If you hold your hands straight up and make a small triangle with your hands, and look through it, that is your Zenith. And no one else has the same Zenith.
Did you know that only Mercury, Venus and Earth are rock planets; all the others are gaseous planets. OK, I have lots more where that came from in my trusty notebook.
Don had a computer program that showed the sky in real time. This wasn't a very good shot, but you can see the moon.

The sky was truly magical. One rarely gets to see that many stars because of too many light sources around. This area, which includes Big Bend, is open sky and little human habitation. I actually set my alarm for 5 am, because Don said the most stars could be seen then. But Zooey had to go the the bathroom at 4 am, so I took them out, looked at the beautiful sky and turned off my alarm.

I couldn't get a good picture, but the Davis Mountains surround the camp grounds. I could have easily stayed there another night to watch Part 2 of Don's Star Party, but I have places to go.
I didn't rush out in the morning. We walked, enjoyed the views and left at about 10 am.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. If I'm not mistaken Mars is not a gaseous planet.