2 On The Road Blog

On October 9, 2004 we moved into our Hitchhiker fifth-wheel trailer and hit the road as full-time RVers. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Kitt Peak is about 50 miles SE of Tucson. We've driven past the mountain before and you can see a couple of the telescopes from the highway.
Once you get off the highway you follow a winding mountain road at 8% grade for 12 miles.

This is a model of where the telescopes sit on the top of the mountain.


View of some of the telescopes from the top of the Mayall 4m Telescope.
This is the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. The right portion extends another 300' into the mountain.
There was a drawing but we don't have a photo of it.
Of course the astronomers sleep during the day. There's a sign posted in front of each dorm building reminding people to be quiet during the day.



This is the 2.1m telescope. It was hard to get a photo of it through the dirty observation room windows.






We were headed to the 4m ( 4 meter telescope which refers to the size of the mirror) Mayall Telescope which is the one on the right. In front of where I am walking you can see some left over snow.
Course I had to make a snowball and throw it at Nolan. It missed!







We saw this blue bird fly in front of us and Nolan got this photo of it sitting on a branch. I believe this is a Mountain Bluebird.
We continued our walk to the Mayhill Telescope. It sits at 6975' so we were huffing and puffing more than usual. This is a model of the telescope because it was too big to photograph.
This is a photo of the exterior of the telescope that explains what everything is called.












There was an observation deck halfway up the telescope. You can't really tell in this photo but Tucson is in the distance. The tall mountains in the center background are the Santa Catalinas, home to Mt Lemmon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow

Just in case you think we never see snow, here are photos of the Santa Catalina mountains that I took from the top of our trailer.
This is as close to snow as we want to get although we will get closer this spring when we visit Yosemite on the way to Washington. The high in Tucson today is supposed to be 54° but it's only
47° at 11:45 am. It will be the coldest day this week. Nolan looked at the forecast for Carroll, Iowa today and it's about the same as here but it will be, by far, their warmest day of the week.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Colossal Cave Mountain Park


Colossal Cave Mountain Park is just east of Tucson.





We went to the La Posta Quemada Ranch section of the park first.



Where we walked the Bundrick Hiking Trail and saw this crested Saguaro.

This is what it looks like from the side.




Look at all the grass growing along the trail!
The mountain in the center is where the cave is located.

Some of the plants along the trail were identied with little markers.
These are the stables at the ranch. We could have gone on horse rides along the trails.
There's a few historic items. See the next photo for the phone booth.

Looks like the Roadkill Cafe was closed.













Nolan in a 1934 World's Fair Funhouse Mirror.









This cash register and scale were used in the Vail Post Office until about 1970. They were purchased by the former park owners and used in the Colossal Cave Mountain Park Cave Gift Shop until the early 1990's.

Colossal Cave has been used in the filming of several movies. This photo and the next show posters from two of the movies.









The cave was also stocked for use as a nuclear fallout shelter.















The ranch house that now houses the museum was built in 1967. It was very interesting on the inside.

This is the courtyard in the middle of the building.


This is the building that houses the Cave Gift Shop at the cave entrance.
I just thought the terrain of this mountain was interesting.
This is the road that lead to the El Bosquecito campground. It was only one lane and we were real happy we didn't meet anyone!
There were quite a few tents in the campground.
Then we followed the road to La Selvilla campground. It forded the wash in four places.
Then we came to a gate and had to turn around.
No this isn't the road. I backed into the wash to get turned around so it looks like we're actually headed down the wash at this point.