Palomar Observatory Tour

I went on a campout with the Boy Scouts, and on Saturday we went to Palomar Observatory. I am working on my astronomy merit badge, too. The hike was 2.5 miles each way. The observatory looks like a giant white dome with a rectangular strip on the side and top. That strip opens up when the telescope is being used. When we arrived, we went into a room that they called the basement even though it was not below the building.

 

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This is the basement.

 

It stored spare parts and such. Then, we saw the telescope itself. It is huge!

 

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The telescope is too big to fit in the picture.

 

They have a place for different mirrors for the telescope. The different mirrors work well for different functions. Their smallest one is 48 inches and their biggest is 200 inches. They were the first observatory to have a 200-inch mirror. They are the 19th largest observatory in the world. This observatory was built around the time of World War II. The sinks in the bathroom are weird because they have two faucets. One sends out hot water and one sends out cold water.

The tour was very fun!

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Interview with My Grandfather about Working on the Apollo Space Missions

Planetarium

 

Central California Coast: Day Two

In the morning, after breakfast, we were on the road again up the coast.

Our first stop was at Monarch Butterfly Grove. The butterflies look like the leaves in trees! It is open October to February. There are over 28,000!

We took yet another detour and found yet another park!  This one had ocean views and a tire swing. It was called Dinosaur Cave Park. Sarah and I were on the tire swing, and it was crazy.

 

It was going soo high spinning around like mad. I was partly responsible for the craziness.

Piedras Blancas is a six mile long stretch of elephant seals.

All the young males were there when we went. In two weeks from Thanksgiving, the adult males will come and fight over the females.

Our next stop was at the Madonna Inn. Its guest rooms have many different designs.  We like the ones with rocks. Madonna Inn has around 100 different rooms each to a separate theme.

We made a stop at Moonstone Beach. It has a lot of unique stones.

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The “moonstones” there.

The beach also had climbing rocks, a tree and a cave.

It was a long drive for lunch. We had cheeseburgers for Thanksgiving at Ragged Point Inn.

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Cheeseburgers for Thanksgiving

We drove across Bixby Bridge on the way back. There has been many car commercials on it. To see some of our drive you can click this link. There  was more stunning scenery like this:

 

 

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You can see Bixby Bridge.

 

 

We stayed at a Marriott Residence Inn in Salinas.

Day two was just as fun if not more as day one.

The other days of the trip were:

Central California Coast: Day One

Day Three: Coming Soon

 

On the last day of March, we had fun at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary with friends. We hiked to the water hole, and Thomas was our guide. When we arrived, we were going to play football. Unfortunately, before we started it was time for the picnic. After the picnic, Thomas reviewed  the safety rules.

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The hike was a total of four miles, and we were proceeding excitedly to the water hole. We saw two garter snakes on the way. Lucas touched Stinging Nettle and Poison Oak. We were stomping in the snake area to scare them.

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Finally, we arrived at our destination. It was the watering hole. We saw a water snake which had a really thin body. Lindy captured a newt. Some people held and/or touched the newt. I’m glad I didn’t because it was poisonous! Thomas filtered some water with his portable water filter.

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The water tasted far better than normal. Kate and Ciara kept asking for more. People walked on the rocks, and I did. Thomas started bouldering. I joined soon after but not soon enough. When I started, it was time to leave.

On the way back Luke almost got bit by a rattlesnake! He was about  five inches away! Quickly, Thomas tried to hit the snake with a stick. He failed and succeeded. He missed, and the snake bit the stick instead. Before we finished the trek, we saw a Pacific Ringneck.

Not everyone returned home right after the hike. We walked into the museum and looked at the animals. After everyone but one family left, they bought us ice cream.  Meanwhile, Kate and Sarah were doing art. Next, we went to the park. Lucas, Ian and I played football. Then, we threw rocks over the play equipment. We needed to go to the bathroom so went at a volunteer fire station. That day was a really good d