Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seeing Stars

After yesterday’s late-afternoon hail and rain extravaganza, we had clear skies last night. Coming back from the evening ranger program, we saw brilliant stars. Bryce Canyon is truly a Dark Sky sanctuary, with approximately 7500 stars visible on a moonless night. You can clearly see the Milky Way, and the stars shine with great depth. I just wish I could identify more than the Big Dipper.

I paid the price for craning my neck back looking up at the stars, though, and aggravated my dizziness problem. I woke up this morning feeling like the world was spinning, and spent the day trying not to lurch when I walked. Armin and the boys kept me away from any canyon rims. I am feeling better this evening, though, and I hope that by sleeping kind of propped up I can avoid any further dizziness.

Anyway, we had a 2 am thunderstorm that sent us all into the car for a little while. The boys handled it with sleepy good humor, and quickly fell back asleep once we were back in the tent.

This morning we took some time off from hiking in order to do some housekeeping. We had to get the tent tidied up and dried out, and the back of the car needed some serious organizing. It felt good to do some little chores and be able to find things once again. The boys also appreciated being able to lark about with their campsite friends who were going back to California today.

Once we had things shipshape, we decided to drive the park road to hit the scenic overlooks. There was only one little hike along the way, so we just tooled along, snapped pictures, and enjoyed a picnic lunch. The boys finished up their Junior Ranger requirements and we spent some time at the Visitor Center. Then we got back to a nearly deserted campground and hung around, reading and such. I’m reading Mrs. Frisby & The Rats of NIMH to the boys and we are completely captivated by it. We spent a couple of hours lounging in the tent following the adventures of our new mouse & rat friends.

The day has been free of rain—probably our first day without precipitation in more than a week. It’ll be chilly again tonight (sorry, sweltering East Coast friends), with clear skies for good star viewing. I’ll resist the temptation to crane my neck!

Tomorrow we’ll take a ride on the Dixie National Forest bike path, which Armin says is spectacular. Then on Thursday morning we head to Salt Lake City for a bit of city sight-seeing and a hotel room. I will resist the temptation to spend the entire time in the shower.

So, dear readers, though it makes for rather dull reading, I am glad that the past 24 hours have been free of drama. We needed some mellow downtime!

1 comment:

  1. Lay on your back to watch stars. I found that out many years ago on a camping trip. I've used lounge chairs, picnic tables and the olain old ground on a blanket or sleeping bag. Much better for your neck. Glad you had a calm day and if you can't send the rain ahead bring it with you when you return.