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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pine Mountain Observatory

Having gone there as a student long time ago, and knowing the youngest's interest in all things outer space, we had promised a trip to Pine Mountain Observatory this summer.

Weeks rolled by and summer was almost coming to a close. So, while it was still officially summer and school was still out, and before we slipped down the beastly slope of Broken Word, we managed the trip one fine weekend.

Possibly because he was expecting a lot more, it was easy for the kiddo to be disappointed a bit. And, now that the pink glasses of the student days have been replaced by the sturdy bifocals of parenthood, I felt a bit let down by the experience.

Although it is volunteer run and is a good undertaking, plus they have a wonderful school visit program, it would be nice to have special days where elementary grade school kids are the focus on-site (there is some fund-raising for this underway) - where the talk is geared towards their level of understanding and preferably presented by someone who is comfortable interacting with kids (not talking down to them), and are encouraged to ask questions.

Now that that's out of the chest, it was still a fantastic trip, almost like a pilgrimage for the little guy, especially since the astronomer pointed the telescope to Arcturus, Oggie's favorite star that week.

Since staying up late is still tricky with him, we have not done any of the OMSI Star parties, but, hope to one of these days.

The 15", 24", 32" telescopes




The gorgeous landscape




The mysterious stump figure



Comfortable camping



The towering Ponderosa pines



The Three Sisters


The looming cloud-covered Mt.Hood


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