June 9, 2016
Nothing like returning to work after a weekend to a busy, crazy Monday.
OK, so my Monday is on Thursday, starting the work day at 12:30p with two and a half hours in the Visitor Center, which means no time to check work email. Can be very important government stuff built up over two or three days off. Although it turned out not to be much of importance when I checked it at 6pm.
The parking lot was expectedly busy and mostly full, cars and people. Yet I found a spot big enough to back in the behemoth truck/camper and in the process bumped a little plastic car with the camper jack. SHIT! With an audience of visitors. SHIT! I haven’t bumped any of my trucks into anything for decades. So once I get parked I leave a business card with all my contact info and a note to call. I have insurance.
First thing in the Visitor Center door I hear sirens speeding up to the Lodge. Don’t know for sure what happened as I got so busy with visitors answering questions, giving directions, and swearing in Junior Rangers, the shift was suddenly over.
New Mexican Locust – the luscious Legume flowers taste like peas while the thorny branches keep you away
Time to eat before giving a 4:30p Condor talk on the Lodge veranda. Which went very well with about 80 people in attendance, including eight Junior Rangers. It’s a requirement to attend a Ranger program, write something learned, and have the Ranger sign your book along with four age-appropriate pages of activities. The whole book for adults.
The current Artist-in-Residence, photographer Robert Langham, set up for a talk on improving your photography in 20 minutes. He uses B&W film for large format photos.
Smoke could be seen from a prescribed burn at Shoshone Point on the South Rim causing a hazy view of the canyon.
After roving (answering more questions) I went to the office, checked those emails, and got in a little snack before returning to the Lodge. Even took a couple sunset shots before setting up the computer and projector.
It’s Star Party week, June 4-11. Been meaning to write about that. Anyway, instead of giving my usual 8:30 evening program I introduced a guest astronomer. Really liked his presentation, “Time travel in astronomy” where he showed how far away major large stars are in light years compared with events in history.
By the time the presentation was over, the Lodge veranda where eight telescopes were set up, was already getting busy. The sky had mostly cleared from some late afternoon clouds.
I had just put the AV equipment away when a lodge employee told me an Asian visitor had driven off the road about five miles out on the scenic drive, was OK, and had called for a tow truck. So I spoke to him, what little I could, and called dispatch to let Law Enforcement know. He had about a two hour wait for the tow so I urged him to check his luggage and enjoy the stars.
Only went out on the veranda briefly, but long enough for my eyes to adjust to the dark while standing on the edge of the crowd who patiently waited in line to view some marvels in the sky. Soon I could see a speckled field with planets bright. Can you tell I don’t know much about astronomy? Talked to a few visitors. Then slipped off into the dark for home by 10p. A gorgeous end to a crazy Monday at the North Rim.