We arrived at J&H RV in Flagstaff, worn out from a long day of touring the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest and driving west. We settled into our site in this well kept RV park. Many of the other campers were here for the cooler summer season up on the Coconino Plateau. We found the RV Park had lots of rules, probably why it was so neat and clean looking. Within an hour of arriving we were told we could not tie our Golden Retriever to the trees, since it might harm the bark (of the tree, not the dog.) We might have felt singled out but the same woman knocked on the door of the RV next door to us to issue the same warning about their bikes leaning on the trees.
After a good nights sleep we went down to the older section of Flagstaff and wandered around town. Driving along we saw signs for the Lowell Observatory, so we climbed a steep hill and found a gem of a place. It is one of the oldest observatories in the US, having been established in 1894. It was here that Percival Lowell explored the heavens, and it was here that Pluto was discovered. (A good book I read about this was Percival’s Planet: a Novel by Michael Byers and it took place at this observatory) Nowadays scanning the skies is pretty much computer driven and done by reading printouts. This observatory had the original telescope, that had to be rotated across the sky manually in order to take a series of photographs for comparison. We explored the museum and visitors center and discovered that our entry fee allowed us to come back at night and look through the original telescope as well as several other small ones that are available.
We killed some time tracking down another restaurant we had seen on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Salsa Brava and had dinner while we waited for the sun to set. Hubby had to order the stuffed Sopapilla shown on the show and it was overkill even for him. The Mexican food was good but the thing that really impressed us was their salsa bar. They gave you a few small, empty bowls and you got to try any of their 10 choices of salsa. They ranged from a mild red through a pretty hot habanero and pineapple (my personal favorite.)
Stomachs content, we climbed the hill overlooking Flagstaff and waited on line to get a peek at the heavens through the big scope. It is a big universe out there and it was a joy to see it up close and personal. One of the smaller telescopes was set on Saturn and all its rings, it was like looking up at our full moon it was so close. A great close to an enjoyable and educational day. We have lots more to see in the area.