We spent one afternoon and evening at Kitt Peak Observatory. It was extremely cold out on the mountain and just kept getting chillier. The birds didn’t seem to mind. They were very friendly. We went with out tour group to watch the sunset from the peak. It was an amazing sunset but the winds picked up and the temperatures dropped fast. We spent the evening learning about the stars. We got to participate in a night time viewing. The winds whipped every time the dome moved. We all were shivering and freezing. We had a lot of fun seeing the heavens above. We even got hot cocoa and a nice dinner with out evening tickets. It was really neat to see the amount of research that is preformed at the observatory.
We slept in a little since we didn’t get home until super late from he observatory. Mom took us to Sabino Canyon for the day. We loved hiking the trails at the visitors center. They had an amazing cristate cactus. We earned a National Forest Services Sabino Canyon badge for doing a very hard scavenged hunt on the trails. They we bought tickets for the canyon tram. We opted for just riding the tram instead of doing more hiking. We enjoyed some prickly pear cactus lollipops while we learned about the area. I really wish we had more jackets with us. It was cold when the tram got rolling. It was weird to see hardwoods in the desert. They grew along the base on the canyon. We learned about a 15 yea old boy that got lost int he canyon and the police came to rescue him. Deputy Anderson died trying to rescue the boy. The photographer and journalist covering the story was Mr. Sabino, who the canyon is now named after.
The next day we visited University of Arizona. We wandered the campus, which was on break, and checked out the bookstore. We made our way to the Mirror Lab on campus for a tour to see the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope lenses. There will be 7 lenses when they are done. The telescope will be constructed in South America. We watched part of the polishing process on the concave mirrors. It was quite a process! It was neat to see all the parts of the telescope lenses and how they are built. After our tour we drove up Mt. Lemon Scenic Byway. The views were amazing! We enjoyed hiking out on some of the trails to find snow to play in.
Tomorrow we say goodbye to Tucson! A place we will come back to someday! The campground was tiny but perfect for us. We had a game room to play in while Dad worked. Mom could do laundry and shoot pool and hang out with us too.