I have not put my finger on this yet, but I always know when it is a Sunday. And it really does not matter, just an observation. But I have suddenly many observations today, most of them regarding the near future. I know that most of them have to do with the Holidays coming up. I will not hide the fact that they are hard times for me. I am not complaining, I don’t go there, I have accepted the facts of life, complaining does not lead to a place any more comfortable than the present, and at the same time the overall feeling just gets ill at times, robbing a bit the senses of that present. My desire to attend a Christmas Art sale in Terlingua this coming Saturday is a solid one. With no expectations, I am curious to hear the feedbacks toward my Art Cards (that is what I was told to call them…). What puzzles me is the coming weeks. I feel like moving on, start heading East, either following the Texas Coast or a bit more north as for us Atlanta is a long way away… seems like it anyhow considering how slow we travel avoiding the main roads at all cost. At the same time a couple readers, riders, which I have never met but always wanted to, will be coming to Big Bend for the Holidays. And for that I am drawn to wait, all this creating the question marks I have been pondering about! Texas will be on our way back soon, on our way to Moab where we are going to spend some time when it warms up a bit… maybe meet them then on their ground?… even if near by big cities.
Downtown Ft Davis
Maybe the Stars are just not quite lined up today! Maybe "I miss" the Chisos… the open spaces… being here near Alpine as the vibes in the air are just not the same… Has Big Bend cast a spell on us to let us know that we cannot get away too far for too long?… Maybe I could just blank out my mind for a little while and let the times roll, as truly, what other choice do we have!
Small businesses in Ft Davis
We pushed a bit further north yesterday in quest of the silver dome called the Mc Donald Observatory. beautiful road on 118, a steady climb with nice curves, even noticing a real nice guard rail made out of stones which must have taken much labor over the years. We stopped first at the Ft Davis State Park, remembering how beautiful the view from the top is, reachable by riding up Skyline Drive.
You can see Camp Mitre Peak a bit to the right.
Seems that the wind always blows nicely up up the top. We actually took a nice stroll there, no one was around and Spirit also, nose up, seems to enjoy the clean air. I have the feeling that everyone is out Christmas shopping… it must be that time. Why would otherwise no one be here on such a beautiful day?
Next was a longer stretch of road leading us to the Observatory. You cannot miss it’s sight up on the next mountain.
We did go up, parked, but the lights were not on. Not accepting defeat, we rode back down to the Frank N. Bash Visitor center to simply ask if they could turn the lights on! It seems that at times they are left off for various reasons, but, how nice, one phone call later and a ride back up… we found them on.
Beautiful building and dome, with a Gallery at the entrance and much information on how this unique telescope came about. Unique, besides another one build in Hawaii, because of its mirror design comprised of 91 separate mirrors instead of just one, lowering its normal cost by two thirds. I started playing around with the camera as even the doors were of a nice flawless mirror and of course as is one other mirror under casing displayed as a sample.
OK… go ahead… I am laughing too! Quite a project which took 3 1/2 years to build, I believe at a cost of about 15 million dollars. If you look closely below, unfortunately the colors are blending in a bit, you can see the 91 mirrors. I will skip more explanations regarding the telescope at this point, as we are returning tomorrow morning, bright and early for a once in a lifetime behind the scenes with a private tour! As I wrote a little while ago, every day turns into an adventure. We were riding back to Ft Davis when I noticed someone frantically (truth!) waiving at us. As we stopped in Ft Davis to visit a bit (yes… chat!) with my friend Jerry, Bookfeller bookstore’s owner, the same car pulled behind us, a friendly lady, a bit out of breath, excited and gesticulating arms… went on to explain me that she and her husband read the Blog… he is in charge of the telescope and would love to give me a tour! Small world… isn’t? She herself is a teacher at the smallest Texas School in Valentine… where we will be on Tuesday, of course only because I need to be Spirit’s chaperon… I would never be were I am without him. They are also, I was told, making a video to send to the Troops for Christmas, and we might be part of the video which also might get National Coverage. I will try to help them on that front with some television people that I have met on our Journey…
We met Jerry and Nelda last year. It is always a pleasure to stop by the bookstore when they are open, mainly on the weekend. His truck is his store sign! If the truck is there, they are open, not there…closed. Unique in the sense that the books are not in alphabetical order. You start on one end and by the time you walk out, as it always happens to me, your arms are filled, you guessed it… with books! I came back with three yesterday.
I see some fog rolling in from the north right now and hoping it is not bringing colder temperatures. I think this picture will warm us up… more trees from the entrance of Ft Davis.
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Ara Gureghian 853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245 Naples, Fl 34108
Always, be well… Ara & Spirit