My sister, Cynthia, recently came to visit us from the East Coast. I had told her about Anza Borrego State Park for several years, how beautiful it is, the metal sculptures, unique natural mountain landscapes and wildlife. Given how the east coast below zero weather had been, she was game to check it out.
Well, it seemed like we were on another planet. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is appropriately named, that’s for sure! The park consists of unusual terrain that features a very nice campground, volcanic cinder cones, lava tubes, 500+ caves, great ranger led hikes, examples of lava types and on-going science research. That’s me popping up out of a lava tube.
After our visits to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, we thought Craters of the Moon might be a let down, but it wasn’t!
We like to visit Anza Borrego a couple of times a year, in the fall and spring. It is one of our favorite places to camp because it is a beautiful desert and the full hookup campground is a good location, well maintained with great views. We thought that though we had missed the desert super bloom, that maybe we could catch the tail end of some of the desert blooms. Visiting Anza Borrego in mid April is always hit and miss with regard to the weather. It could be cold, moderate or hot. This time for us it was hot and windy. So much so that we ate most of our meals inside. But still it was a very nice visit overall since Anza Borrego always has a special beauty about it, no matter what time of year or what kind of weather.
We were at the Mojave National Preserve November 4th and 5th for our semi-annual star party that helps promote support for the Preserve. This year Subaru sponsored the event. The “official” scheduled event day was Saturday the 5th, but we got there a day early so we could enjoy the scenery and night sky before the crowds arrived. What a great place to get away from it all and help support a worthy cause.
Nightfall star party and imaging conference is held on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, typically around late October or early November. The Riverside Astronomical Society sponsors and hosts the event at the Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort in Borrego Springs, California. It’s a very informative and fun event.
This was our first time at Nightfall and we had a good time. We not only picked up some good astronomy tips, we also got to see fluorescent scorpions!