Chris chatting with Sharon, a nice lady from the Sacramento club that joined us for the weekend. She had a home-built sprectograph that she attached to her telescope. Way cool!!!
Chris fixing some breakfast on Saturday morning.
Richard can't get by without his morning coffee.
A Few shots of our campground. The cool thing about doing these Yosemite public outreach star parties is that the park waives the entrance fee and the provides camping spots for the astronomers that participate. We do a star party on Friday and Saturday nights and once all the visitors leave we can spend the rest of the night there at Glacier Point even though the area normally closes at sunset
You really do have to keep your food in the bear box.
Bill and Toni took off for a day trip and their campsite got invaded by a couple of really big birds. They just walked in and took over. They rifled through some bags and boxes looking for food and were pretty aggressive about it. Good thing Bill and Toni had put everything away.
They thought everything was fair game and theirs by default :)
Kind of reminded us of the movie The Birds.
A nice view of Half Dome.
The shadows are getting long and that means it's time to head out to the point and start setting up.
The valley floor from Glacier Point.
The valley floor.
Little Yosemite Valley just to the north of Half Dome.
This is the spot where the nightly firefall was held. This is what Wikipaedia has to say about this wonderful bit of history:
The Yosemite Firefall was a summer time event that began in 1872 and continued for almost a century, in which burning hot embers were spilled from the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park to the valley 3,000 feet below. From a distance it appeared as a glowing waterfall. The owners of the Glacier Point Hotel conducted the firefall. History has it that David Curry, founder of Curry Village, would stand at the base of the fall, and holler "Let the fire fall," each night as a signal to start push the embers over. Firefall ended in January 1968, when the National Park Service ordered it to stop because the overwhelming number of visitors that it attracted trampled meadows to see it, and because it was not a natural event. NPS wanted to preserve the Valley, returning it to its natural state. The Glacier Point Hotel was destroyed by fire one year later and was not rebuilt. The Firefalls were performed at 9 p.m. seven nights a week as the final act of a performance at Camp Curry.
A small observation building dedicated to Ansel Adams. His son, Michael, was my doctor when I lived in Fresno.
Looking back toward the amphitheater.
The gift shop.
This year I decided not to haul all my heavy gear down to the amphitheater floor. There was a power outlet at the top row, so i set up there. The first night was a complete bust. I couldn't get the computer to go to any alignment stars. Mark Buxbaun (another club member) finally came by after about an hour of struggling. He took one look at the thing and said that I had two of my cables hooked up backward. Took him all of ten seconds to figure out my problem. Tried not to pull that one again. By the time I got up and running everyone had lost interest in my scope. The next night was way better.
This is exactly why the rangers tell you not to bring food to Glacier Point. I think Bill took this particular picture. He also got a picture of a bear at about one in the morning one night. Craig had some food on a couple trips and had it swiped by bears. They can be really aggressive when food is involved. Pretty scary!
Our resident moon man, Craig, setting up along the top row.
Bill setting up the slide presentation that we do at twilight. We tell the guests about the kinds of telescopes that we're using, what we're going to be looking at that night as well as a little bit about telescope etiquette.
Sunset on Half Dome.
Ant yet, another :)
I wonder how many millions of pictures have been taken of Half Dome from here at Glacier Point.
Some of our evening star party guests watching as our ranger introduces our club and Bill, our speaker.