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Saturday, February 25, 2012

When You Wish Upon a Star

Thursday was a day of great weather here for us.  Sunny and temp of 81 which was a joy.  I went over to Avila Beach Golf Resort to get in 18 holes, but only got in three.  Carol called me on the third hole to come and help her get into the RV.  She was unable to open the lock.  So I gave up my round and sped back to the RV to rescue the damsel in distress.  Fortunately I was able to get a rain check at the pro shop and will try to play next week.

Thursday night about 9pm we drove down onto the beach at Oceana to view the stars.  It is very dark on the beach and we could see a number of constellations (Orion, Taurus, Pleiades, Cassiopeia, Aurgia, Canis Major & Minor, Ursa Major & Minor, Leo, Lepus, Cancer, Gemini, and Aries just to name a few).  I really enjoy looking at the stars.  It is something I started when I was about 8 years old.  I had a small paperback book full of information for young astronomers to be. 

When I was about 13 years old, I used to go up to Chabot Observatory to the public show.  They usually did some show & tell exhibits indoors and then if the night was clear, went and used their two telescopes.  After awhile, they would let me lead parts of the program and it was great fun and education too.  Due to that, I ended up taking 4 semesters of astronomy in college.

So getting our our chairs on the beach Thursday night was a great treat and brought back many memories.  I have several star charts that will help you locate stars and constellations.  We also had a great look at the winter Milky Way.  The MW is not as bright as in the summer because in the summer you are looking towards the center of our galaxy and in the winter sky, it is away from the center so fewer stars are visible (maybe a billion or so less).

Friday we went for a 6.5 mile bike ride on the Bob Jones trail.  We went to Avila Beach and rode the trail backwards.  It was more crowded than usual, but not too bad a ride.  We planned to go to Port Luis for lunch but when we got back to the car from the ride, the fog had moved in and pretty much ruined the sea view.  So we skipped that and hope to squeeze it in next week.

The fog stayed with us after noontime for the rest of the day.  Yet, still a lot of people came into our park for the weekend.

Today dawned clear and sunny with no sign of fog at all.  Carol has a cold so she wasn’t up to doing a bike ride.  I went ahead by myself and went on a 15 mile ride through several state parks along highway 1 and back.  It was starting to get a bit windy on the way back or I might have ridden further.

We packed a picnic lunch and drove out onto the beach facing the waves.  We listened to a podcast of a sermon by Art Azurdia who is the pastor at Trinity Church in Portland.

Also got word this week that I already have a semi-pro football game assigned to me as referee for March 17, right after we get home.  I have a good crew for the game so it should be fun.

We are already talking about things we need to do before we start the trek for home.  We will have been here 2 months which is great.  And we have done a lot of things while here and already can start looking forward to next January and our next 2 months here. 


Donna K said...

We had a clear night here on Thursday night. I let the dogs out and hollered for Russ to come see the two bright planets in the western sky. Felt like you could reach out and touch them. I looked it up the next day and found out they are Venus and Jupiter.(I hope that's right!)

Yes, you and Carol have done a lot during your stay down there. Too bad you have to come home but then coming home has it upsides too. Hope Carol gets over her cold soon.

Alan and Marilyn McMillan said...

What a great Sunday -- listening to a sermon on the beach. We would love to be on a beach star-gazing. Hope Carol feels better soon. Be safe traveling home!

Sue and Doug said...

we saw those two bright planets in the sky last night too..and here I thought they were satellites!..learn something new everyday!!

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