Monday, December 21, 2015

MET ANOTHER RV BLOGGING COUPLE TODAY & MY CATCH UP POST FROM SUNDAY

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CALTECH’S PALOMAR OBSERVATORY ON MOUNT PALOMAR CALIFORNIA

South-west Borrego winds were strong enough Sunday night for Kelly to get up & put her bedroom slide in.  A few gusts rocked the coach slightly but never kept me from a good night’s sleep.  Fortunately by morning we were down to a light breeze out of the North.

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SHHHHHH, A MONDAY MORNING SUNRISE IS SNEAKING UP ON KELLY

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THIS IS WHY THEY CALL WHERE WE ARE ‘THE OVEN SITE’

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STANDING ON SOME HIGH GROUND WATCHING FOR OUR COMPANY TO ARRIVE

As a rule after a day or two of activities we like to have a day spent relaxing around the coach & today was that day.  I like those ocassional do nothing days just as long as I don’t have too many of them in a row.  Fellow RV Boondockers Jodee & Bill from On The Road Abode are currently here in Borrego Springs at the State Park & after a few text messages back & forth over the past couple days they took a drive out to our rig just off Rockhouse Road in the Clark Dry Lake Bed area this morning.  Wow that was quite a sentence.  First time meeting these folks & Jodee has been a regular commenter on my blog for quite awhile.  Once again how nice to meet a couple fine down to earth people. Pheebs & their Wheaton Terrier/Labradoodle Tessa got along just fine & even had themselves some play time going on.  Safe travels folks & I liked that Calicos apple turn-over you brought.  Thanks……:((

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PHEEBS PLAYMATE THIS MORNING WAS TESSA

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AND OF COURSE HERE’S PHEEBS MAKING A BIG PEST OUT OF HERSELF

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PLAY TIME

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OK SO WHY DIDN’T WE THINK TO PUT JODEE IN THE CENTER..

Feeling the need for a hot cup of coffee after Sunday’s cold & windy hike up Ghost Mountain we decided to head off to the small mountain top touristy apple pie town of Julian California.  The drive from Shelter Valley up into what I think might be the Vulcan mountain is another favorite scenic road with twisting tight curves all the way through Banner right up to Julian.   This was probably our 4th or 5th trip along this road.  Having been in Julian before we knew which coffee shop to stop at.  While I waited Kelly scooped a couple coffees plus a huge piece of apple pie to go.  Drove around to an already very crowded side street, found a place to park, & wolfed down our scrumptious apple pie.  Julian is well ren-knouned for it’s apple pies & lots of tourists.

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LOOKS LIKE WE ARE LESS THAN 100 MILES FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN

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STRAIGHT AHEAD ATOP THAT MOUNTAIN IS JULIAN CALIFORNIA

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LOOKING BACK ON THE SCENIC DRIVE UP FROM SHELTER VALLEY

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HERE COMES OUR COFFEE & APPLE PIE

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WE SPLIT OUR 1 BIG PIECE OF APPLE PIE INTO 2 PARTS & SOMEBODY’S NOT TOO HAPPY ABOUT BEING IN THE BACK SEAT

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PARKED ON A JULIAN BACK STREET EATING OUR PIE THIS WAS OUR VIEW

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ROUNDING THE CORNER AT JULIAN’S MAIN INTERSECTION THIS IS MAIN STREET LOOKING SOUTH

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PASSING JULIAN’S CEMETERY ON THE WAY OUT OF TOWN i KNOW MARSHAL SOUTH IS BURIED TO THE RIGHT OF THOSE STAIRS AT THE TOP

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LOTS OF NICE BUILDINGS IN THE AREA

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SPOTTED THIS NICE GATE ALONG THE WAY

Nice relaxing scenic drive from Julian to San Ysabel following a familiar road north out of Julian to a T intersection & turned left for San Ysabel.  Kelly remembered the Julian Pie Company there as a place we had picked up a great tasting pie last year.  So off to San Ysabel we went.  One can practically smell the Julian Pie Company before one even gets there.  The air is filled with a heavenly aroma of freshly baked apple pies & yes we did end up with a pie to take home.  Kelly in her frugal ways always knows enough to ask for ‘not so perfect’ which means any pie that may not be perfectly baked.  Maybe it has a crack in the crust or something.  ‘Not so perfect’ pies are always half price.

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LIKE THE OPEN ROLLING HILLS THROUGH THIS REGION

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OH BOY DID THIS PARKING LOT EVER SMELL GOOD & HERE COMES OUR LITTLE HAPPY FACE TRAVELER NOW

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From San Ysabel we figured on heading to Warner Springs then Borrego Springs via Montezuma’s Grade coming down the east side of the San Jacinto mountains.  While driving I remembered a few years ago being able to see the white dome of Mount Palomar’s huge observatory far off to the West high atop Mount Palomar.  Minutes later we passed a road sign with an arrow pointing the way to Mount Palomars Observatory.  Kelly said, “lets go have a look at that” & seconds later after a quick U-turn we were on our way heading in the direction of the famouse telescope.  Passed Lake Henshaw & it wasn’t long before we spotted another road sign saying 14 miles to the Mount Palomar Observatory.  Made a right hand turn & we were on our way up the mountain.

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LAKE HENSHAW ABOVE & A SCENIC VIEWPOINT ALONG THE WAY BELOW

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Like so many roads here in the great South-west we were again twisting & turning like a Le Mans Grand Prix vehicle on a Go-Kart track.  Up & up, round & round we went until alas we found ourselves in a large parking lot atop Mount Palomar.  We had spotted 2 white domed Observatories on the way up the winding road but from the parking lot neither was visible.  Kelly decided to wait with Pheebs while I struck off to find what once was the largest telescope in the world back in 1948.  Wasn’t hard as I just followed other people along a paved walkway.  And then there it was just as big as life through the trees…… THE PALOMAR OBSERVATORY

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MY FIRST REAL VIEW OF PALOMAR OBSERVATORY

i have been to the McDonald Observatory in Texas near Fort Davis as well as Kitt Peak west of Tucson Arizona but I don’t recall either as having an Observatory building as large as the one atop Mount Palomar in California.  Did I mention the word HUGE!! 

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The paved walkway led to a sweeping set of stone steps leading up & into the small lobby of the Observatory itself.  While approaching the steps I heard an industrial sound & saw the entire top half of the dome rotating form left to a right.

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THE ENTIRE TOP HALF OF THE DOME FROM THE CATWALK UP WAS ROTATING FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AS i APPROACHED

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SWEEPING STONE STEPS LEAD INTO THE OBSERVATORY WHERE A PLAQUE ON THE WALL HONORS THE MAN BEHIND THE TELESCOPE

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STAIRS LEADING UP 2 FLIGHTS TO AN OBERVATION ROOM

Entering the Observatories main doors I noticed a stairway to my immediate left leading upward.  It was 2 flights up to the main floor of the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope itself.  Through what seemed like smoked glass on the observation deck I could make out the massive telescope seemingly suspended in the dim light.   Felt like I might have been standing inside an Alien space ship as I tried to make some sense of the large telescopes configuration.  Yes there was the large familiar tube affair which one could probably drive a small car through.  Up towards the dimly lit roof of the observatory I could kind of make out the far end of the scope which in turn looked a bit confusing.  At the lower end of the scope a round open room seemed to hang freely in space with a portable stair platform leading up to it.  I can only assume this is where the Astronomers come to peer through the scope with their many instruements & software programs.  Very impressive.

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THIS IS THE TOP END OF THE TELESCOPE UP NEAR THE ROOF

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SOME OF THESE PHOTOS ARE A BIT MORE CONFUSING BECAUSE OF REFLECTIONS IN THE WINDOW GLASS

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THESE ARE  2 OF THE LARGE STEEL WHEELS THE DOME ROTATES ON

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THIS LARGE ROUND DIMLY LIT  OBSERVATION ROOM HAD A MYSTIQUE ABOUT IT & REMINDED ME OF STAR TREK’S ENTERPRISE…..WHAT A COOL WORK ENVIRONMENT

Kelly had noticed a sign saying dogs ‘on a leash’ were permitted on the Observatory’s grounds so while I was taking some photos outside of the Observatory Kelly & Pheebs came walking along.  Pheebe & I waited outside while Kelly went in to have a look at the big telescope.

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HERE’S PHEEBE AT THE PALOMAR OBSERVATORY IN CALIFORNIA & NOTICE HOW SMALL THE PEOPLE ARE WALKING AROUND THE BASE OF THE BUILDING

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A FAMILY POSES FOR PHOTOS OUTSIDE THE OBSERVATORY

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SERVICE & HANDICAPPED ENTRANCE AROUND THE BACK

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On our short walk back to the Jeep we stopped into the Visitor’s Center & finding the electronic displays there very impressive as well.  I was glad we had made the effort to drive over & up Mount Palomar to the Observatory.

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COULD THESE BE 3 FLYING SAUCERS WITH A SPIRAL GALAXY IN THE BACKGROUND….MAYBE THE PHOTO BELOW WILL OFFER A CLUE

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BIG TREE OUTSIDE THE VISITOR’S CENTER

It was getting into late afternoon when we pointed Libby’s nose down the mountain & away we went making only one stop for a couple giant Pine cones alongside the road.  Our day had pretty well clouded over so the Borrego Valley floor wasn’t quite as scenically impressive as it usually is coming down Montezuma’s grade.  No matter as I took a handful of pictures anyway.

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Sure glad to be back at the rig after a 9 hour day which began with an early morning cold & windy climb up Ghost Mountain.  And that catches up my writings & blog photos for another day.       

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<<< AND THIS WAS PHEEBS SAD LITTLE FACE A COUPLE DAYS AGO WHEN WE TOLD HER SHE COULDN’T COME WITH US WHEN WE WENT INTO BORREGO SPRINGS FOR A FEW THINGS

GROANER’S CORNER:((

Santa and his reindeer need to be really quiet when they deliver presents so no one will know they are there. One Christmas Eve when they landed on a roof top, there was a loud, "Snort, snort, sniff, honk, honk, sniff." "Shhh," said Santa and he proceeded to get out of the sleigh. Once again, louder this time, there was a "Snort, snort, sniff, honk, honk, sniff."  Dogs began to bark in the neighborhood. "Shhh," Santa said again, "Stop doing that." He started to lift his sack of toys out of the sleigh when he heard it again, even louder. "SNORT, SNORT, SNIFF, HONK, HONK, SNIFF." Lights came on all over the neighborhood. Some people opened their windows and stuck out their heads trying to see where the noise came from. Horrified, Santa jumped back in the sled and flew off to the North Pole. When he got there, he lined up all the reindeer and said, "OK, we are not going to deliver any more presents until the reindeer who is trying to be funny by making those noises confesses and apologizes." He waited. No reindeer came forward. "I know who it is," said Santa. He held up a piece of paper. "I've written your name here and I will read it. But I want to give you a chance to do the right thing,"  Still no reindeer came forward. So Santa did the only thing he could. He read off the rude-nosed reindeer.

Q: What nationality is Santa Claus?
A: North Polish.

Q: What do elves learn in school?
A: The Elf-abet!

Q: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
A: Snowflakes.

14 comments:

  1. That is great that you were able to meet Jodee and Bill! Pheebs and Tessa look like they had fun, also. :)

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  2. Thanks for the Telescope tour. Will have to go there when we visit our camper in Oceanside.

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  3. Interesting blog tonight. Thanks. I love that big tree!

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  4. We have been to the Julian Pie company but got there when we camped in Julian years ago it is a colorful touristy town.
    Enjoyed the tour of the telescope too, now time to relax..

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  5. Great photos, again, Al! We are headed off to the LA Natural History museum with the grandson and the nearly 3 year old granddaughter. Hubby has to stay home because of his back, but I'll take 10,000 photos!
    ~Cheryl Ann~

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  6. Interesting tour of the observatory, we have seen it in the distance ... we like going to Julian and love that pie.

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  7. I enjoyed your Palomar experience. I recently read a 'biography' of it and your photos really brought things into perspective. Thanks for sharing with us, Al.

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  8. That telescope looks fascinating! The apple pie sounds pretty good too, and Kelly sure is smiling about it! Enjoyed all your pix today, and that nice feeling of sun and warmth. Another day of grey drizzle here!

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  9. I highly recommend the Whipple Observatory in Amado, AZ (just south of Tucson).

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  10. Looks like a great day you had. Just the kind of day trips we love to take - a little hiking, pie, a little of the tourist thing, and PIE. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Isn't Julian a great day trip from Anza Borrego? We were there about three weeks ago, following a lot of your same drives. Palomar is just icing on the day trip cake. Have fun!

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  12. In my bike racing days while living in Carlsbad, I use to ride my bike up that road to the Palomar Observatory.

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  13. Nice that you got to meet Jodee, Bill, and Tessa. They are great people:)

    Now that was a very long day! We did three Julian Pies while we were in Borrego Springs. I love that I can get them from the coffee shop in town and bake them myself. I have one in the freezer waiting to baked for Christmas when the daughter arrives. I was told we couldn't eat it without her if it was a Julian Pie!! Glad you got a pir to take home.

    The Observatory is great! So glad you reminded me of Kitt Peak. We need to visit this time while in Tucson. I really would like to view the sun and its flares. They have a solar telescope.

    Guess you need a day of rest tomorrow:)

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