May 17, 2013
Friday, May 17
To post to the blog I drive 14 miles from the visitor center on the loop road towards Highway 89, which goes south to Flagstaff or north to the Grand Canyon. In a small pullout that has information about the park I can get a moderate signal on my Verizon wireless card. Otherwise, no other internet service until Flagstaff, about another 30 miles. Phone calls are slightly easier, 4 miles from the visitor center is a picnic area where you can just get a cell phone signal if you park on the access road next to the medium sized cottonwood tree, but not in the parking lot. The ranger explained that the picnic area is about 300 feet higher in elevation than the visitor center so it’s possible to get a signal there.
Forgot to mention yesterday that it’s best to make sure all the things that hold the camera on a tripod are tightened before you move it. I was working Wednesday night on a small hill, moving the camera/SkyTracker/tripod set up. I was below the camera as I put it in a new spot and it fell forward, still attached to the tripod. The very hard metal protector on the lens hit me in the side of the head, causing a huge bump to form. There didn’t seem to be any blood and fortunately the camera survived.
Found out yesterday I’ll be doing 2 public programs on Sunday. The artist-in-residence programs likes you to do at least 1 program per week you are at the park. It can be anything from a slide show to demonstrations or performances. I’ll be showing the night sky photos I’ve shot over the years and talk about working in the national parks. That had been scheduled already. They also asked if I could do a photo class and teach people how to shoot at night. Because the moon is getting fuller each night, I thought sooner would be better so the bright moon doesn’t wash out too many stars. So we’ll go out to one of the ruins and do an on-site hands-on class.
I’m looking out the apartment window now and it’s gotten quite windy and overcast. The flag in front of the visitor center is flying straight out. When the wind picks up around the apartments you can hear a tremendous noise from the trees around us. Hope the clouds clear by tonight.