I know that JD often hikes part way down the Grand Canyon before attending
the GC star party.
This Holiday Season,
my wife and I headed west from Oak Ridge, TN to meet my sister at the South Rim. I made my first hike down to Phantom
Ranch and back in 20 years. I'd like to share with you the "best" photo I've taken ever of this natural wonder.
It's attached. At the South Rim, it was clear but very cold. It was far too cold and inconvenient to get out the
telescope, which was in the back of our car, but I did take my sister and her boys out away from the lights of hotels and
shops after dinner the day we finished the big hike to do some star gazing with binoculars and green laser. They are
from the SF Bay Area, and were really surprised at what was to be seen on a dry cold winter evening at 7000 feet elevation.
Comet 17P/Holmes in Perseus and M-31 were both visible to
the unaided eye. They looked great in binoculars, as did M-42 and 45. It was a treat for them to just survey the
extent of the the Milky Way using hand held binoculars. The attached photo was taken on 12/29/07 at 9:30 AM while hiking
down the South Kaibab Trail along the Supai Group of geological formations. I hope you enjoy this photo. I've
never taken another that matches it in quality.