January 25

January 25

Mass and A Good Move; Starry Starry Night

On the way to our new home at Page Springs (about 15 minutes south of Sedona), we attended 9:00 Mass at Immaculate Conception, which has a capacity of over 1900 people. Very nice priest and a very nice church:

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After Mass, we checked into the campground. It’s quite small, with very few people here, but it’s quite a little gem. Our site is 10 feet from Oak Creek, and the place sports ducks, herons, javelinas and a feral cat; who could ask for more?

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We drove into Sedona for the afternoon under a blue sky and a comfortable temperature. We walked up and down the main street, and felt compelled to buy another candle (this is definitely the last one; of course, we said that last year.) We stopped in at our favourite Mexican Cantina for beer and tacos, then paid a visit to the lovely quilt shop we found last year. We returned to the campsite to rest for a couple of hours before heading out to a star-gazing tour.

It took nearly an hour to drive out to where the telescopes (12-inch) were set up. It is an area south and east of Sedona, well out in the back of beyond, to try and ensure the least possible light pollution. The sky was mainly clear, although some cloud cover was starting to come in. It was cold, but not freezing, and we had dressed for the occasion, although chairs, blankets and even down parkas were supplied.

We were divided into two small groups, and then spent the next hour and a half watching our guide Trevor, who was very knowledgeable, use a laser pointer to outline constellations and significant stars, along with describing the mythology behind them. We were then able to look at these objects through the telescope. We had a good view of Jupiter and could clearly see two of its four moons (one was behind the planet). We also had an excellent view of the moon and could see the Sea of Tranquillity, site of the first moon landing. It was a great experience.

We went to sleep to the soft calls of an owl in a nearby tree.

 

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