A Conversation on the Docks

Leaving Deb to take a nap in the hotel room I grabbed a camera. The shopping was done, nothing to do until we loaded up baggage and groceries for a quick flight to Craig the next morning. I wondered if the Ketchikan waterfront would offer a few photos, so I grabbed the 6D with the 70-200mm f/2.8, a rain jacket, and not much else for an evening walk.

A Conversation on the Docks
A conversation with Jack, a longtime Ketchikan resident
“You know you are trespassing.”

The comment caught me by surprise. I was threading my way along an apparently abandoned section of docks noting a possible photo opportunity involving some harbor seals.

Turning, I was met by a fellow stepping out of an old white van that looked to have been parked in place for the entire summer.

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Horsethief Lake Petroglyphs

The Horsethief petroglyphs are something special to me, wrapped in childhood memories. This is also where I proposed to Deborah, in front of the magnificent Tsagaglalal, She Who Watches. Traveling to eastern Oregon to visit family we had made a point to stop by and see this place again.

Tsagaglalal or She-Who-Watches at Horsethief Lake
Tsagaglalal or She-Who-Watches at Horsethief Lake
In my youth visiting was easy, the petroglyphs were were almost forgotten and sat quietly along the river, visited by those few who knew they were there.

The Horsethief recreational area was a lightly used picnic area and campground, one of many along the river. If you knew where the little trail was you could simply park by the rail tracks and walk out to the images. Among my earliest memories I remember swimming in the lake and visiting these petroglyphs.

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The Moon and Venus

Tomorrow morning, July 20th, a pretty crescent Moon will be located close to a brilliant Venus. The Moon will be a slim 11% crescent a little over 4° from Venus shining at -4.0 magnitude. The pair will rise about three hours before sunrise a bit before 2am, look for the two above the brightening glow of dawn.

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

Service Call

It does not happen very often, but it does happen. Driving up to the summit in the night to fix the telescope. As an operations engineer it is part of the job, but I can think of only a handful of times in my decade on the summit I have actually done it.

The motor controllers for the Keck 2 top shutter
The motor controllers for the Keck 2 top shutter
Considering it takes the better part of two hours to get to the summit there is no point in trying unless the issue occurs early. You have to consider the issue… Can you fix it in the middle of the night? Will there be any night left once you fix it? Do you just call the night and head up the next day with a full crew and a good night’s rest to fix it properly?

This particular problem was discovered first thing upon opening. Well? Lack of opening for the night. The top shutter on Keck 2 would not move, fault lights all over the place. Hard to look at the sky with the top shutter closed. I worked the issue over the phone for a while with Nick as far as we could.

The conclusion? I would have to work the problem in person to fix it, I have to go up.

Can I fix this? Probably. I found myself leaving the house before 9pm for a run to the summit.

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