Bryce Canyon 2006

Diary of Roger's trip to Bryce Canyon NP, June 2006

6/7/06 Got up at 7:00 a.m. and got the 5th wheel ready for 4 days of dry camping at Bryce Canyon. Washed all dirty dishes, dumped all tanks, filled up with water, and got propane from the Flying J for $1.79 per gallon. Drove 255 miles to Bryce Canyon and checked into the Sunset Campground at a cost of $5 per night. The campground had no hookups but was very pretty and had some huge handicap sites of which I got one. The weather was sporadic broken clouds with a thunderstorm or two. I checked in with Mrs. Strobel and greeted her new dog which was roaming the Red Rock camp ground. She named it Bryce and it appeared to be a short haired Australian Sheppard with a wonderful disposition. Dark did not come until 9:30 p.m. I attended a park service star party with Rich. Three scopes were set up and we got to view Saturn, Jupiter, and the moon for about 45 minutes until the sky became totally socked in with clouds. Before it got socked in I got some beautiful views of Jupiter through a Televue NP-101 refractor, a very impressive scope. I was very tired from the drive and rafting trip so I immediately went to bed after the party.

6/8/06 Rich stopped by with his new dog Bryce and woke me up at 6:30 a.m. Rich is in training all day for his docent job. I spent all morning doing my rafting trip diary on my laptop. I have no TV here because of tall trees. Mrs. Strobel invited me over dinner in their RV. I brought over a nice bottle of Chianti Classico wine which Rich and I enjoyed. Went to a ranger lecture and slide show at the lodge in the evening.

6/9/06 Got up late around 9:00 a.m. today. My sore listing leg exacerbated by the strenuous hikes is feeling a little better this morning. Yesterday it was causing me some real pain. The listing part is caused by my MS. Its clear and sunny this morning so I hope to get some astro photography and viewing in tonight. The temperature got down to 43 F. last night. The elevation is 8,000' making for some cool temperatures even in June. I loaded all my astro gear in the truck around 7:30 p.m. and drove to a vacant treeless parking lot near the visitor center. Got my dual scope arrangement set up well before dark at 9:30 p.m. The sky was clear enough so that I could see both Polaris and the other little dipper alignment star for polar aligning. Got it quite close. I used my cross hair ep for alignment and my goto's were excellent. Had two families stop by and both groups were very impressed by Saturn, Jupiter, and the moon in that order. Tried the Losmandy Polar alignment correction feature which made my alignment worse. Photographed the moon, Jupiter, M13, M51, M57, and M104. The photos on the C8 had significant star trailing. The photos on the TV85 were not great but useable. The weather was perfect with no wind, so I viewed until 2:30 a.m. and then packed up getting to bed at 3:00 a.m.

6/10/06 Stayed in bed until noon. This NP camp ground is quiet and beautiful. Sitting in a chair I saw 8 species of birds without even moving. I spent the day at the trailer lounging and processing my astro photos from last night. I have been taking a short shower every day, but that fresh water goes quickly. Rich and Linda invited me over for spaghetti dinner tonight. I again set up my scope in the overflow asphalt parking lot near the North Camp ground where the conditions were again perfect with no wind and no clouds. The only negative was the full moon. I figured out the polar alignment scope tonight and got right on the money. I tried the star Spica near the meridian and celestial equator getting no drift in 15 minutes with TV85 and a 9mm illuminated reticule which means the azimuth is right on. Forgot to try the East or West star to test the altitude setting. Photographed the following using TV85, Cannon Rebel, 3 minutes exposures; M11, M13, M51, M57, M81/82, M104, and Epsilon Lyra. For focus, I had success using the camera view finder on Jupiter and Jose's knife edged Ronchie device on Spica. Went to bed at 1:30 a.m.

6/11/06 Got up at 10:30 a.m. I am almost out of water in trailer, so no shower today. Spent most of the day processing my astro images from last night using Images Plus. I am extremely happy with my results, having good tracking, good color, good focus, and generally good contrast considering that I was shooting with a full moon. Plan on going out again tonight to practice polar alignment, drift alignment and a few more photos.

6/12/06 Left about 8:00 a.m. for Mesquite, NV. Drove about 200 miles gaining one hour due to time change arriving in Mesquite around noon. Checked into the Casa Blanca RV Park and cranked up the AC immediately as it was 97 F outside and rising. I lounged in trailer all afternoon showering, washing dishes, and processing my asto photos from last night. At 6:00 p.m. I went to Kathryn's the gourmet restaurant in the casino. Had French onion soup, cold seafood assortment of shrimp, lobster, sashimi tuna, scallops, and white fish with a couple of glasses of great wine. I struck up a conversation with a very conservative cardiologist from St. George at the bar, so I had a 3rd glass of wine. I then played Black Jack for two hours making about $50 enough to pay for dinner. Hit the rack at 10:30 p.m.

6/13/06 Left Mesquite at 8:30 a.m. and drove about 400 miles home to San Diego. Finished listening to the audio book called Mystic River which was like no mystery book I have ever read. Got a tire blow out on the trailer near Lake Elsinore. I called triple A but kept getting stalled by the dispatcher and decided to change the tire myself. I was almost finished when a big diesel tow truck arrived. I let him finish the job.

Photo's by Roger Zellmer of Bryce Canyon NP trip in June 2006

All of the following photos were taken at Sunset Point near the car pull out parking lot.
The Strobel's new dog named Bryce, for the area it was found in I guess. It was a stray found at nearby Red Canyon Campground.
He's a cute little guy and very active. Look at those blue eyes. Could he be an Australian Sheppard?
He already thinks that he owns the couch in the RV.
Rich and Linda are enraptured with him. They will have their hands full training this energetic pup.

Last updated on February 6, 2019