Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 28 – To Kanab, Utah

Yesterday was another day off. The previous two days had been quite long. When we got up it looked great but then it started to cloud over. Mid morning and early afternoon we got two short but intense patches of rain so I am glad we were inside.

It cleared up last night so I finally got my telescope out. Bryce is known for it’s great night sky. It is far from any cities, the high elevation means less atmosphere to look through and it is very dry so what you do look through is clear.

I should have had the scope out before but it always seemed that the clear nights were after long hiking days and I just could not work up the willpower to dress up for the cold nights and get the scope ready.

I didn’t take any pictures but just looked at a lot of things. I was amazed at how clear it was. Every other place I have been you don’t really bother to look at things too close to the horizon because you are looking through so much more atmosphere that when you look straight up. All the heat waves and thermals in the air make everything blurry. Last night I was able to look at things only 5 degrees up and they were sharp and clear.

I got very good looks at Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, many globular clusters and about 6 galaxies clear enough that I could see some structure to them rather than just being fuzzy blobs. If we are ever here again I will have to use the scope more often.

Today we made the short move south and lower in elevation to Kanab, Utah.

Once we got out to highway 89 we followed a nice green (how unusual) valley for part of the way.


We followed this tank truck almost the entire time. We went about the same speed up the hills.

I guess this guy likes domes.


After a while we got back to the desert.


We got stopped twice, with long waits, for construction. I was going to go back to a state park along here but we may wait for the weekend.


Is it ever hot here. The high today was around 35C. We are going to have to get use to this for about the next 3 weeks until we head into the mountains in Colorado.

We are in a nice little campground that is in town.


Our windshield is all shiny because a while a ago we bought a roll of some stuff called Reflectix. It is bubble wrap sandwiched between two foil sheets. We put some in all our windows, except the door. It makes it dark inside but does it ever make a difference to the temperature.


They just filled the pool so it is pretty cold but with these temps I may at least dip my feet in.


In the afternoon we went out and hit the local Kanab Visitor’s Center and the Grand Staircase National Monument center for this area.

We also stopped at this tourist trap.







All the fixin’s to become a “real” cowboy.





The main reason we are staying in Kanab is to try and see North Coyotes Butte, aka, The Wave. It is an amazing area of slickrock that undulates with ribbons of colour through it.

Here is a picture from another blog.


The problem is that it is on federal land and they only allow 20 people a day to access it. 10 people can try and reserve in an online lottery, many months in advance, with a low success rate. The other 10 must go into the Kanab Visitor’s center at 8:30 am and sign up for the walk in lottery to get a pass for the next day. You put down how many are in your group and at 9 am they draw until they have 10. If eight people have been drawn and you get picked but have 4 in your your group you have a tough decision to make. 

This is a VERY popular place. The lady at the center said that over the long weekend there were about 180 people in the lottery each day. Yesterday it was still in the 70s. So I will go every day and enter. It will be great if we get to go but I will not be heartbroken if we don’t. There is lots of other things to see in the area and I am sure we will be back this way.

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