Monday, August 13, 2007
Perseids Meteor shower
Its the dog days of summer. That means that it is time for the Perseids Meteor shower. I love watching the meteor shower. This one is my favorite, because you can see meteors even with the city lights and it is warm outside, so you don't have to brave subarctic tempuratures to watch the shower. But I have always wanted to watch the shower at it's peak time and away from the city. I have never been able to, because I had to get up for work and couldn't be tired, or I had to get the kids up for school and couldn't be tired, or the baby would be getting up in just a bit and I didn't want to be even more tired. You get the idea.
Well, not this year. This year school doesn't start for one more week and the peak time for the shower was last night. I don't have to be at work, the kids don't have to be at school, no baby nothing pressing that I need to be up and awake for. I can go up the mountain and watch the meteors to my hearts content. So we loaded up my new Durango and headed up the canyon. We left a bit early, I thought, 8:30 pm. The sun wasn't down, the peak times for the meteors was 1-5 am, but we left anyway. Then the fun began. We saw lights, lots and lots of lights, but not the ones we went in search of. Instead, this is what we saw.
times about 8.
As we were heading into a curve heading up the mountain, a motorcycle followed by 3 cars was headed down. The motorcycle lost control and crashed. How the rest of us kept from hitting them or each other, I will ascribe to Divine help. The riders were wearing helmets or I am sure they would be dead, they bounced off of the canyon wall and down the road a bit. The driver just had a couple of scrapes on his leg, but his passenger was hurt pretty bad. The EMT thought a possible pelvic fracture. I still haven't moved everything from the car clean out over to my new vehicle, but I did feel the other day to move these items: First aid kit, blanket, and jumper cables and pad of paper and pen. Last night we needed, first aid kit, blanket and paper and pen for the witnesses that left to go get help to leave their contact info. It took them 20-30 minutes to get down to where they had cell service. Then another 30 minutes for the first response vehicle and police to arrive and another 10-15 for the 3 ambulances (we ended up only needing 1) and then another 10 minutes or so for the 2 highway patrol- who's jurisdiction the canyon is. If you had been passing by, the amount of rescue vehicles made it look worse than it really was.
After all was cleaned up and the cyclists were on their way to the hospital, we went a bit further up the canyon and tried to see some meteors. Clouds were rolling in and Brandi was afraid of bears coming, even though the forest ranger that stopped to help the accident told us there had been no more bear problems since June. We were parked on a slope, and I kept falling off of the hood. And the surrounding cities have become so large, that even up the canyon it is not dark. Even with a new moon. I could clearly see what was in the field we were parked next to and it was 11:00 at night! So we just went home, a bit dissapointing for me.
I got up at 4:00 and Jake and Ethan got up with me and we laid on the front lawn for about 30 minutes. We saw 20-30 meteors in that amount of time, but we were so tired that we went back in for a bit more sleep.
Maybe next year I'll find someplace that I can go and see a real spectacular meteor shower. I really would like to do that at least once in my life.