Dark skies, meteor showers, nightwalking

I am going to West Texas in a couple of days with some friends. We will drive out Thursday, perhaps taking US 90 (the southern route), which is an unknown part of Texas to me. I’m looking forward to that.

We’ll be staying at the Stone Village Tourist Camp in Fort Davis, where I have reserved a “camping cabin” — good for the budget traveler, it has no AC and shared bathroom facilities. Balmorhea State Park was full, and I don’t even try Davis Mountains State Park any more because most of my compadres are not into camping, we don’t plan far enough ahead, and…the stench and noise of javelinas right outside my tent at night is unappealing.

Thursday is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. Look toward the northeast after full darkness. We may check in, take a little nap, eat, hang out, and then about 10 pm drive a little south of Fort Davis to have a stupendous view from the heights out over the flatĀ plains to the north.

Friday perhaps we’ll swim at Balmorhea, do some hiking, and in the eveningĀ attend the twilight program (new for me) and then the Star Party at McDonald Observatory, after which we will do some nightwalking on a dark, deserted country road under the darkest skies in Texas.

For more about nightwalking, read here: http://www.navaching.com/hawkeen/nwalk.html. For our Austin peripheral walking meetup, go here: http://www.meetup.com/Austin-Peripheral-Walking-Meetup/.

Saturday, we may drive to Marfa for the farmer’s market, visit to the Chihuahuan Desert Botanical Center in Alpine, return to Marfa for dinner, and then go out to the viewing area for the Marfa lights. I’ve been a couple of times but have not seen these mysterious long-known lights yet.

Sunday, drive back with perhaps a stop at Sonora Caverns — so isolated, so clean, so cool and damp and fascinating.

All in all, it’s a much needed break from work, a time to spend with friends in the clean air, big skies, spaciousness, and pleasing views of the Davis Mountains. Will bring my yoga mat and zafu and keep up with my yoga and sitting practice and my 5 minutes of pranayama practice, breathing in that good clean air.

Mostly it will be a wonderful change in energy. This trip feels like I’m being called. What awaits me? I’ll tell you when I get back.

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