Arizona 2010

The dome of the 6m MMT (part of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory) on Mt Hopkins in Arizona, USA. Next to it the moon is rising.
The dome of the 6m MMT (part of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory) on Mt Hopkins in Arizona, USA. Next to it the moon is rising.

This was my first trip to another continent. Having flown to Spain to observe three times before, I felt well prepared. And I had prepared myself well, the trip went smoothly and immigration to the USA went well, apart from slight pronunciation problems, it was relaxed.

But I had forgotten something: the weekend. And so it only struck me over the Atlantic that although I could get as far as the base camp of the observatory with my travel plans, there was probably no one available to take me from there to the accommodation 1000m higher and 16km away. But fortunately, my contact at the observatory noticed that almost at the same time, so that during the stopover in the USA and after entering the country, I found an email in my inbox that contained a solution, namely that my contact and his wife take the chance for an weekend trip, part of it was to drive me to the accommodation of the observatory. I was very thankful for that, otherwise I would have had to spend another night in Tuscon and reorganize the taxi to the base camp. Back then without a smartphone, and not even a cell phone, since my cell phone from 2002 was not designed for the cell phone frequencies in the USA. How much will change in 10 (or 20) years.

Looking through the photos, I rediscovered more things to tell, but more on that another time.

One response to “Arizona 2010”

  1. […] After arriving on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona, USA, with almost no problems, I explored the area. However, this was a little different from Germany, there were dangerous animals here. I didn’t see a rattlesnake, but I did see a bear. The first time I was on my way to the telescope, which was another 3km walk with 200m elevation gain. And then, 400 meters from the finish line, the bear crossed my path, not far from me. Luckily next to other buildings of the observatory, so that I could radio from there to ask if someone could pick me up from the telescope. Which they did, but they also felt that I was more scared than I needed to be. And of course the bear was no longer to be seen. […]


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