Day 47: Seeing stars
Dead Horse Point State Park
0 mi, 0ft elevation gain
Today was our first of two rest days in the Moab/Canyonlands/Arches area. We're staying at Dead Horse Point State Park's wingate campground. This is a pic of Casa de Spokes for the next couple days. (We'll be here for a total of 3 nights--the longest we've stayed in one place!)
The morning started with unloading the van around 7am, so we can all ride together into Canyonlands. It's very hot here, and no one on the team wanted to spend their rest day biking more, so everything had to come out of the van. I was driving today, and like a good soccer mom I got everyone into their seats with plenty of water. We spent the morning driving around Canyonlands, taking small hikes, and enjoying the viewpoints. Pics below!
By noon we were tired, hungry, and hot, so we drove into Moab seeking lunch and air conditioning. Lunch was Mediterranean.
I had an email to send for ROTC, so I rode shotgun and sat in the car typing while the team got groceries for Audrey's dinner. We've decided to have our non-drivers (Audrey and Vin) cook during these rest days since they're not in the rotation otherwise.
After groceries, we got ice cream and did some shopping around Moab. Highlights included more postcards, jewelry, and a nicely air conditioned Wendy's. Despite late afternoon arriving, it was still exceptionally hot out (the high of the day was between 103 and 105). The team took a vote on how to spend the afternoon--visit a nearby creek, get a jumpstart on seeing Arches, stay at the Wendy's, or head back to the campsite. With a slim majority of 4 votes, we headed to arches. The team did a 1 mile downhill through-hike where Joy and I picked them up at the end. We finished with a drive by balanced rock, and an even shorter walk at windows. Pics below!
With the sun setting, I drove back to camp for a 9pm dinner. Audrey made delicious burgers including impossible patties for us vegetarians. Equipped with a headlight, two headlamps, a reflective belt, and my bike's reflectors, I cautiously biked down to the visitor center for a 9:30 star talk. It was wonderful! Canyonlands, arches, and dead horse state park are all dark sky parks meaning you can see more stars there than most other places. The ranger talked about a bunch of constellations using a laser to point them out, and there were even a couple telescopes for deep-space viewing. Looking with my bare eyes was my favorite. Highlights included Delphinus, scorpio, sagittarius, corona polaris, and Cassiopeia. 8/10 modern americans will never see the milky way with their bare eyes due to light pollution, and I can now say I'm in the 20% who have! The photos on my phone are a bit underwhelming but Ive included some anyway.
I biked back to camp ready to get some sleep after a sink shower. Saturday will be an early morning to beat the heat and crowds at arches. Stay tuned.