Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Long distance sighting

So, once again it's Father's Day weekend and my Dad and I are looking for somewhere to go play. Do we go to Lamoille Canyon and play in there, or to Fort Bidwell to see places we both grew up around (him for his childhood, me for my summers with the grandparents), or what? I also have this request from my friend up in Canada about their game that I have previously helped with.

Well, we decide on heading out to Ely to see if we can help him out again. Turns out the position was for a sighting spot to locate another object in the far distance and calculate how far point A to B was. We get there and there is one obvious object that it has to be. So we snap a lot of pictures and then drive closer along a segment of road labeled by Google to be the old Lincoln Highway. And what do you know there are signs along the road indicating just that! So we bop around out there and as we round a corner there appears a herd of ELK right up the hill. Oh WHY did I just turn my camera off!! First time we've seen elk in the wild.

After that we went over into Ely to check in and grab dinner before heading to Great Basin National Park. I needed my park passport stamped and they were having their annual Astronomy Festival that weekend. So we watched a movie on the loss of the night in urban areas before I wandered down to the telescopes. They had set them so far away from the parking lot and it was on a sloped road that Dad wasn't able to make the walk. DAMN! I looked at a few binary stars and clusters and Saturn before I started feeling weird from a numb hand. Back to the Jeep and on the road to Ely.

Something funny (in hindsight) happened too. I had texted my best friend my plans for the night and used the poor phrasing of "Hotel, dinner, then park" to explain. He understood it to be we'd park for the night, not going to the National Park (my bad). So when he texted later and got no response (ZERO signal out there) I ended up with a flood of messages once I got near Ely again. First a text or two, then an email, then a voicemail, then a threat of Pony Express, and failing all that smoke signals. Guess I will choose my wording better next time to not worry folks checking in on me.

Sunday we dropped a bug off at the TB hotel near the high school and grabbed breakfast at the Hotel Nevada. Then off towards home, with a short detour of trying to see the Dry Creek Pony Express Station (private property). Once home, I got the bike out and rode into Carson to treat my Dad to a nice Father's Day dinner at the Olive Garden. Afterwards met up with my friend to chat for a bit before heading home again.

Got an email that we had correctly identified the object and now the team we are assisting is just bouncing up and down with excitement. I hope they win their contest, it'd be a neat ending to that story.

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