June 17, 2015
The talk/demonstration went surprisingly well yesterday evening. I set up by the outdoor fireplace on the veranda of the Grand Canyon Lodge which has an amazing view of the canyon. I wore the uniform and hat, which made me look very official. There are rustic benches in a semi-circle around the speaker which gives it a “campfire” feel. About 20 or so people came, a few more would stop to listen during the 45 minute talk. I wasn’t showing pictures but showed the camera equipment I use and talked about the various settings and a few of the good places to shoot night sky photos. Some people brought their cameras. Two children, who I think might have been Japanese, asked me to sign their Junior Ranger book after the talk. The mother encouraged the shy children and they presented their booklet, in which they wrote what they learned at the talk. There was a space for the park ranger to sign. I think they complete the book and get a Junior Ranger badge, which I have always wanted. I told them, “Well, I’m not a ranger but I’ll sign the book.”
Four of my neighbors from the cabin, the park employees, came to the talk which was very nice. They introduced me to a volunteer couple they know, Lori and Bob. After the talk my friends, Ellyse, Jacob, Christian and Brian ordered a pizza from the Deli in the Pines, at the lodge. I got a ham sandwich and they said to join them at Lori and Bob’s place by the heliport for dinner. Sounded like a great invitation. The couple park their motor home at an area north of the cabins which happens to be right next to the heliport used as a staging area for medical emergencies. They had a clear view to the west, just a meadow and unfortunately the waste treatment plant between their picnic table and the horizon. It was a pleasant dinner.
Later that night I photographed a pinyon pine tree that was jutting out of a huge bolder. I climbed up on the treeless side of the bolder to set up my tripod. The craggy branches and clumps of needles mimicked the lumpy look of our Milky Way.