Author Topic: Trip to US South West  (Read 2967 times)

Offline georg.viehoever

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Trip to US South West
« on: 2010 August 01 11:16:14 »
Hi,

my family (wife+3 boys) and I plan to travel from Germany to the US South West (Las Vegas, Zion NP, Arches NP, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Death Valley) end of August to mid September. If you have any hints what we should see there off the beaten track, please let me know. We are especially interested in nature, astronomy and anything that may be fun for boys aged 10-14.

Georg
Georg (6 inch Newton, unmodified Canon EOS40D+80D, unguided EQ5 mount)

Offline Nocturnal

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #1 on: 2010 August 01 12:08:16 »
Sounds like a great trip! If you make it to Los Angeles you should see the Mt Wilson observatory.
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Offline sleshin

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #2 on: 2010 August 01 13:59:41 »
Hi Georg,

You're in for a real treat. The American Southwest, especially Utah and Arizona, are home to some of the most beautiful country in the US. I live in Sedona, Arizona which is just 30 miles south of Flagstaff. It is beautiful Red Rock Canyon country and is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. If you are going to Flagstaff it is worth at least a day's drive(I presume you're driving) down, ie south, to Sedona on Highway 89a which takes you through Oak Creek Canyon into Sedona, a very pretty drive. In Flagstaff, you might want to consider visiting Lowell Observatory.  They have an active visitors program that includes an opportunity to look through Percival Lowell's 24" Alvan Clark refractor, the scope Clark used to discover Pluto. Here's a link to Lowell:

http://www.lowell.edu/

Flagstaff is also home to RCOS and Brad is generally happy to show off the facility. If you have one of their scopes, you could go there and visit your money. :D If you don't have a RCOS you could visit my money. :D :D

While Arizona is great, Utah is spectacular. You mentioned Zion and Arches National Parks. These are definitely worth seeing. Zion is in the southwest corner of the state and Arches is east-central, immediately north of Moab. The drive from Zion to Moab is wonderful and includes most of the places you will want to visit. Driving from Zion to Moab you will first come to Bryce National Park which is a must see. Then you travel from Bryce to Torrey on Highway 12. This highway is 124 miles of spectacular scenery. It is know as one of the most beautiful highways is this country. I driven it many times on my Harley and it is a breathe taking ride. I'm sure it won't be too bad is a car either. ;D Here's a link to information about Hwy 12:

http://www.utah.com/byways/highway_12.htm

Happy to answer questions if you like. Perhaps it would better privately. My email is sleshin@yahoo.com. And if you decide to come to Sedona I'd be happy to meet you and your family and show you around.

Cheers,

Steve
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Sedona, Arizona

Offline mmirot

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #3 on: 2010 August 01 14:35:35 »
I like Tucson too. Lots of astro and non astro stuff to do.   Kitt peak observatory, Mt Lemon obs, Mt Hopkins obs , The desert Museum, biosphere ,  kartchner caverns and Pima Air museum. 

Max

Offline Jack Harvey

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #4 on: 2010 August 01 14:45:24 »
Jack Harvey, PTeam Member
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Offline Carlos Milovic

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #5 on: 2010 August 01 22:06:46 »
Quote
anything that may be fun for boys aged 10-14.

Girls aged 10-14? ;)
Regards,

Carlos Milovic F.
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Offline Niall Saunders

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #6 on: 2010 August 01 23:44:07 »
Hi Georg,

If you are travelling through Zion NP, then try and get right thrugh, all the way to Bryce Canyon, and aim to get up into the canyon for the sunrise (the following day) - if you get to see the sunrise over the canyon it is a sight that you will never forget. We managed Vegas->Zion->Bryce->Zion->Vegas in a very easy 2-day motoring trip. (Oh, and don't forget to go to the gun shop in Vegas and let the lads shoot an Uzi - that'll put a smile on their faces for a LONG time)

Carlos - your mind is as 'bad' as mine ;)

Cheers,
Cheers,
Niall Saunders
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Offline pfile

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #7 on: 2010 August 02 21:02:05 »
2nding bryce canyon. it is beautiful and is considered to be one of the darkest dark-sky sites in the united states. i'm sure zion is right up there too, though.

they are very astronomy friendly at bryce canyon and have many astronomy-related programs. there's a huge star party there every year, but it's already over for 2010.

Offline RBA

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #8 on: 2010 August 04 03:22:00 »
Did you say Death Valley in late August?
I haven't done that but the general advice is: not the ideal time to visit the park.
Basically you would tour some parts of the park in your car (with A/C of course) and do little more than that.
The trail to Wildrose and Telescope Peak might be doable during this season (again I have never been in DV during the hot season)...

Offline georg.viehoever

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Re: Trip to US South West
« Reply #9 on: 2010 August 07 11:36:02 »
Thanks to all of you for the advice! I am certain there will be many interesting sights, amongst them some bits of real dark sky...

Georg
Georg (6 inch Newton, unmodified Canon EOS40D+80D, unguided EQ5 mount)