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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5882159 - 05/24/13 12:10 PM

This is for flagstaff:
http://weatherspark.com/averages/30276/6/Flagstaff-Arizona-United-States

Hi's mid 70-s

Lows around 40


Kingman is lower elevation, so warmer all around:
http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/kingman-az/86401/june-weather/331805
His mid 80's
Lows around 60

If you stay in the northern half of arizona, then it shouldn't be too shocking either way. Still will be hot in the daytime and the sun is intense! And it's dry dry dry... drink a lot.

Living in Phoenix, we drive up to the north to escape the heat around that time of year


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BillFerris
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5882200 - 05/24/13 12:30 PM

The topography along I-40 from west-to-east across Arizona is defined by the Colorado Plateau, which occupies the northeastern quadrant of the state. Kingman is at the relatively low elevation of 3,450-feet with average highs of 93F and average lows of 58F in June. Continuing east along I-40, you'll climb up the western slopes of Colorado Plateau. Williams, Arizona is at 6,800-feet elevation with average highs of 80F and average lows of 47F. Flagstaff is at about 7,000-feet elevation with average highs of 77F and lows of 35F. Winslow, Arizona is at 4,850-feet elevation with avg. highs of 91F and avg. lows of 54F. By the time you've crossed over into New Mexico, you'll have gained some elevation to 6,500-feet when entering Gallup, which offers average highs of 85F in June and average lows of 45F.

Of course, these are average temperatures. While it's very rare to get much above 90F in Flagstaff, you could easily encounter temps in the upper-90's in the area around Kingman. Winslow and the Painted Desert region can also become quite warm. Climate is what you expect but weather is what you'll get. Generally speaking, you'll be comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt during the day. Wear a hat and use sunscreen. If you've got access to a freezer at your hotel, freeze bottled water overnight and allow it to slowly melt during the day in your car. You'll enjoy nice, cool water to keep refreshed throughout the day.

At night, you'll want to have long pants, a sweatshirt, probably a jacket and a cap of some sort. Observing tends to be a sedentary activity so, you'll need layers to stay comfortable in the cool evening temperatures. Also, since your scope may be spending much of the day in the car while you're outside exploring the wonders of the Desert Southwest, try to set it up at or just before sunset to get the optics cooling well before dark. Astronomical twilight ends at about 9:30pm during June so, setting up by 7-7:30pm would be optimum.

If you make a side trip to the Grand Canyon during your visit, give yourself at least one full day just to explore sights along the South Rim. It's worth it. Every lookout offers a slightly different view. You'll enjoy the best views of the river from Desert View at the far eastern end of the South Rim. Grand Canyon Village is located about 26 miles west along the East Rim Drive and it can easily occupy half a day just working your way from viewpoint to viewpoint along this stretch. After a full-day, you'll have just scratched the surface of all there is to see. Photographing a sunrise or sunset from the rim is always spectacular. It is especially so when a thunderstorm is in the area. If you'd like more specific information about great places to do photography at the Canyon, feel free to contact me by PM.

Bill in Flag


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Jwemes
super member


Reged: 02/26/10

Loc: Wickenburg, AZ
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5882207 - 05/24/13 12:32 PM

This morning, 3am to be exact, at 7200' elevation, west of Flagstaff, the thermometer indicated 32F. Keep checking with NOAA for local conditions. Above all, enjoy the trip!

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chaoscosmos
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: Jwemes]
      #5882636 - 05/24/13 04:18 PM

Another question: I am wondering if getting on the road and playing it by ear without any accomodation reservations could reasonably be expected to have a successful outcome. A couple weekends ago I discovered that I can get at least 3 hours sound sleep in my car, if I'm tired enough, and wake up refreshed. Of course this would only be as a last resort.

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BarbMoore
sage
*****

Reged: 05/11/09

Loc: South central New Mexico
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5883313 - 05/24/13 11:57 PM

Southern New Mexico. The darkest skies I've ever had the pleasure to observe in was around Mayhill, New Mexico at a place called New Mexico Skies.

Of course if you are around the Alamogordo/Oliver Lee State Park area on June 8th, you are welcome to join our group at the Oliver Lee State Park group shelter.

http://www.astronomersgroup.org/


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Skylook123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5883322 - 05/25/13 12:03 AM

If there is interest in the Grand Canyon Star Party, send me an email at the address below and let me know, and I'll get you what you need.

In the 10 years I've been participating in GCSP South Rim, I've observed until 2 AM in t-shirt, shorts, and Tiva sandals, and I've seen people wearing parkas and wrapped in motel bed quilts at 5 PM. All generalizations are false, and flexibility is essential.

Can't emphasize enough about hydration. At the high desert altitude, the moisture evaporates from your body constantly; when you're spitting cotton balls, it's too late to think about a drink. In the worst cases, the moisture is the way your nervous system, including your brain's cognitive thinking ability, gets its job done and I've seen people from "the flatlands" have real motor skill problems when waiting too long between drinks of non-alcoholic beverages. Don't let those electrolytes escape!


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Stargaz18
sage
*****

Reged: 01/04/11

Loc: Wichita Falls, TX
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5883834 - 05/25/13 11:43 AM

Although I did a quick scan of all the responses I didn't see anyone mention Meteor Crater. If I missed it I appologize. That's one place I'd like to see, on my bucket list.

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chaoscosmos
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: Stargaz18]
      #5884007 - 05/25/13 01:48 PM

Getting into the planning stages now, and it's been awhile since I've done this extensive a trip by car (usually take trains and planes etc). For some kind of protection, I'm not a gun person so I won't be going that route. However, I am thinking maybe I should take something along, like pepper spray? What are people's thoughts on this or what suggestions would you have? My feeling is that common sense is the best tool to keep safe, and having a weapon of some sort can potentially be as defeating as it might be helpful. Or not?

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: Stargaz18]
      #5884419 - 05/25/13 05:40 PM

Quote:

Although I did a quick scan of all the responses I didn't see anyone mention Meteor Crater. If I missed it I appologize. That's one place I'd like to see, on my bucket list.




Absolutely! It's stupendous.


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BarbMoore
sage
*****

Reged: 05/11/09

Loc: South central New Mexico
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5884748 - 05/25/13 10:23 PM

New Mexico is an open carry state

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5885171 - 05/26/13 06:49 AM

Quote:

Getting into the planning stages now, and it's been awhile since I've done this extensive a trip by car (usually take trains and planes etc). For some kind of protection, I'm not a gun person so I won't be going that route. However, I am thinking maybe I should take something along, like pepper spray? What are people's thoughts on this or what suggestions would you have? My feeling is that common sense is the best tool to keep safe, and having a weapon of some sort can potentially be as defeating as it might be helpful. Or not?




If you don't feel comfortable with carrying a weapon, it's pretty much guaranteed to be self-defeating.

If you do feel comfortable with carrying a weapon, it has a smaller -- but still quite significant -- chance of being self-defeating.

I've traveled quite extensively in and out of the U.S. I have never carried a weapon, and I've rarely been in a situation where I could even imagine using one.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5885649 - 05/26/13 01:48 PM

Agreed. I've explored, camped, hiked, backpacked, and mountain biked all over the desert southwest for over 20 years. I've never been in a situation that made me feel I needed a weapon.

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Skylook123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: dpippel]
      #5885940 - 05/26/13 05:31 PM

I know it's late, but here's a list I give to folks asking about what's happening around the Grand Canyon area around the time of the star party:

The area around the Grand Canyon offers many attractions and activities in addition to the Park itself and the Grand Canyon Star Party. Flagstaff, Arizona is the home of Lowell Observatory with one of the best visitor activity programs in the world.

Lowell Observatory

Nearby Flagstaff is Sunset Crater, which erupted less than a million years ago, and Wupatki National Monument.

Wupatki National Monument

A bit further east are The Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and Meteor Crater (actually, Barringer Crater).

Barringer Crater

The town of Page, AZ includes many activities including the Glen Canyon National Monument, Rainbow Bridge, and Antelope Canyon.

Glen Canyon/Rainbow Bridge
Antelope Canyon

One little known but very significant astronomical feature in the Page area is the Paria Canyon Archeo-Observatory, a site used by successions of Native American groups going back 3000 years. The art panels tell an amazing cultural story of Lakota, Paiute, Hopi, Navajo, and other cultures but it's a strenuous hike back to the site, crossing seven creeks, and does take a bit of planning and time to perform the visit, but is a cultural astronomy gold mine.

Two other off shoots on the I-40 path across Arizona are Sedona, with the jaw dropping red rock geology and quite a New Age cultural experience (pick up one of the many local free newspapers and contact a personal channeler - you might have once been King Tut or Charlemagne),

Sedona, AZ

and, for Eagles fans, Winslow Arizona right off I-40 where you can visit Standing On The Corner Park and see elements of the song Take It Easy in murals and sculptures,

Standin' On The Corner Park

or, my favorite stop, visit the first monument built anywhere after 9-11 to the fallen New York first responders using actual steel from the destroyed Twin Towers. Not on maps, we stumbled on it by accident walking near the hotel we were staying.


Have a safe trip!


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BillFerris
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: Skylook123]
      #5885995 - 05/26/13 06:15 PM

Folks should know that travel between Flagstaff and Page includes a significant detour that Mapquest is not aware of. Due to a collapse of Hwy 89 north of Bitter Springs, drivers should plan on turning right on Hwy 160 to Tuba City. Continue northeast on 160 to Hwy 98, then turn left on 98, heading north and west to Page. This adds about 50 miles and an hour to the one-way drive time.

Bill in Flag


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chaoscosmos
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5886011 - 05/26/13 06:31 PM

Bill, it looks like Page is the route to the North Rim? Unfortunately, the Grand Canyon Star party is probably outside of my time frame anyway. It starts June 8 and I will need to be back home on the 9th.

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Skylook123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5886063 - 05/26/13 07:05 PM

Good point, Bill; I forgot about the collapse.

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bob71741
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/16/08

Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5886078 - 05/26/13 07:13 PM

"Bill, it looks like Page is the route to the North Rim?"

The route to the Grand Canyon North Rim from Flag is okay with out detours; when you get to Dripping Springs, take 89A to Marble Canyon-Jacobs Lake- and South to the North Rim.

89 at Dripping Springs is the route closed to Page.


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BillFerris
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5886082 - 05/26/13 07:15 PM

Ray, the most direct route to the north rim from Flagstaff is via Marble Canyon. You would take Hwy 89 north to Hwy 89A, turn left on 89A, cross the Colorado River at Navajo Bridge and continue west along 89A below the Vermillion Cliffs to Jacob Lake. At Jacob Lake, take left on Hwy 67 all the way to the north rim entrance. The Hwy 89A intersection is no more than 1-2 miles from the damaged section of Hwy 89. Nonetheless, it is quite a long drive from Flagstaff. The South Rim of Grand Canyon is much closer but it sounds like your travel schedule doesn't have much room even for this detour. It's probably best left for another trip when you'll have more time.

Bill in Flag


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BillFerris
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope [Re: Skylook123]
      #5886093 - 05/26/13 07:22 PM

Jim, I was surprised Mapquest didn't include this detour in its directions for the drive from Flagstaff to Page. As you might recall, the collapse happened more than three months ago in February. With this weekend marking the official start of summer travel, I'm guessing a few visitors to our fair state will be surprised--and a little irked--by this delay. Hopefully, the bypass route has made into the databases for the most popular GPS devices.

Bill in Flag


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chaoscosmos
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Road trip- Arizona and New Mexico with scope new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5886107 - 05/26/13 07:31 PM

As I work through my plan, I think it would be ideal to find a couple of bed and breakfasts where I could set up my scope near the building and room.
One has been mentioned; if anyone knows of any other B&B's in a dark sky zone, I would appreciate hearing about them.

And Bill, I think you're right. Just hitting a few spots will be best.


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