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No, this isn't the latest title in your favorite series of books in the wizarding world - its a collection of interesting information I stumbled across and thought might be interesting to some of you! This post has no particular point other than to share what I found, and walk you some strange series of "one thing led to another" as I was browsing for "dream trip ideas". As some of you know, I'm an astronomy and astrophotography junkie, so this type of stuff had me pretty excited. The Loneliest Road in America Starting off - here is a great article I read on Nevada leg of the US-50 which was dubbed "the Loneliest Road in America" back in the 80's - the premise being that there was literally nothing along this 280+ mile stretch of tarmac. The Dark Rangers & The Great Basin I then ended up on this amazing article about the Dark Rangers who are experienced Forest Rangers who specialize in dark sky astronomy. There are apparently a number of them at Great Basin National Park, one of our newer National Parks. Great Basin is in Bortle Class 1 skies and ranked as the BEST dark sky park in the USA. Link to Great Basin's astronomy program Great map for finding a dark sky site near you What is the Bortle scale? Nevada Offroad Trails So finally, as I unwrap this stream of consciousnesses, I found this fantastic map of trails in Nevada. It honestly reminded me a lot of TrailsOffroad.com, but state sponsored. Nevada has really pulled out all of the stops when it comes to OHV travel on state lands. Every trail has a description, tracks, PDF downloads of maps, directions and more. All of their information ties back in to responsible off-road recreation, safety, and other related information. It's pretty genius, and thats coming from someone commonly critical of government. This particular set of tracks is just north of the Great Basin NP and is noted for some excellent views of the mountains, like Wheeler Peak. Another great thing about Nevada's OHV site is that you can click on any of their tracks to see updated information regarding status, trails width, vehicle types, etc...
So, who's down for a road trip to see the Annular Solar Eclipse in Roswell, NM in 2023? This particular event happens to occur on a Saturday, which is pretty convenient. Just in case you aren't familiar with the differences between an annular and a total eclipse, here's an excellent illustration! An annular solar eclipse is also known as a "ring of fire" eclipse. Here's an AWESOME video of what to expect: The below shows the path of coverage (in red) of the eclipse. The closer to the center of the red band, the longer and more pronounced the eclipse will appear. Here's an interactive map of the eclipse pathway: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-108.96240234375,7 I figured it'd be fun to caravan out to Roswell, home of our alien overlords, and make a fun adventure out of it - maybe an extended weekend? Some possible things of interest that might be fun to see/do: Some local offroad trails (if there are any) The International UFO Museum (and all the other crazy fun UFO stuff in the town) White Sands National Monument Lincoln National Forest Maybe Carlsbad Caverns National Park (would require an extra bit of driving) Don't care for aliens? If Roswell doesn't really interest anyone, the eclipse will also be very prominent over northern New Mexico near the beautiful city of Santa Fe. Utah will also be getting an awesome view of the eclipse. Moab isn't in the direct path, but its not a long drive from Moab to see it. Capitol Reef National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument are dead center in the path, and there are some trails in the area as well. Interested members: @johnpa (tail gunner) @shellback91 @Stacey and Scott @ob1jeeper @Bradywgn71 @AZRNintheJeep242 @mbuckner @theksmith So what do you think? Do we chill with the aliens that inhabit Roswell? Check out the New Mexico high country? Do we drive to Utah to figure out what a "Bears Ear" or what a Capitol Reef is? Discuss!