James and I took the babies on another camping trip this weekend. We seem to go to a new campground every time. This time it was Fremont Peak State Park up in the hills south of Gilroy. James picked this park for this particular weekend because it has an observatory which was open on Saturday night. Even without the powerful telescopes at the observatory, the stargazing from our hilltop campground was truly amazing.
|Setting up camp|
On Saturday we did a couple of little hikes/walks. James and Henry hiked up to the peak. Later, we all walked up to the observatory.
|Walking up to the observatory|
|View from the peak|
|View from the peak.|
Apparently it is black fly season. Man those bugs are annoying! So most of our time spent hanging out at the campsite was actually spent hanging out in the tent. But hey, hanging out in the tent is fun!
|Is it me or does Henry look really mischievous here?|
|Showing off his new skill: clapping!|
|Campsite dinner: Pizzadillas! (Pizza Quesadillas... so easy and so yummy.)|
After dinner we watched the sunset. Gorgeous views! And so foggy down below us!
Once it started getting dark, we walked back up to the observatory. They had three telescopes set up outside and the roof of the building was opened to reveal the very big telescope inside. In a classroom at the back of the building, astronomers gave a presentation but we didn't bring the babies back there so we didn't get to hear the talk.
Since it was still pretty early in the evening, the telescopes were focused on the visible planets. We got to see amazing views of Saturn (rings and everything! and a few of it's moons!), Jupiter (we could even see it's stripes and four of it's moons), and Venus, which was so bright I felt blinded! Calvin gave it a try looking into the telescopes, but he couldn't get the hang of closing just one eye ;)
We didn't stay too late because of the kids. We went back to the campsite and put Henry to bed, but we let Calvin stay up long enough to sit by the campfire and enjoy a S'more.
There were lots of people gathered at the park with telescopes and fancy cameras to get a look and some photos of the night sky. After Calvin and I went to bed, James stayed up to take some photos himself.
|The Milky Way!|
I'd say the night sky views and the observatory are the best things about this park. It was really special to have a chance to do some great stargazing and planetgazing.
The flies... I could have done without!
I think the new moon is actually tonight. Anybody going to do some stargazing?
I know a couple of other people who also went camping last weekend. How did your trips go? Did you get swarmed by black flies like we did?? Haha. I hope not! :)