Bird Sanctuary? Oh my God!
There had been 20,936 Sandhill Cranes at this site over winter but they were now
starting to head north for the summer and ONLY 10,000 or so were left!!
Here we are with our four Vanagons.
Bev's, Diane's Adventurewagon, mine and Kathleen's on the right
In a nearby hay storage shed was
this Great Horned Owl. Kathleen spotted a Vermillion Flycatcher but I
missed it. There were lots of ducks and some Snow Geese but the Sandhill
Cranes captured the show!
Two days of birding and it was time
to head for Phoenix and the Rocket Shoot Weekend!
I arrive at the location a day
early and and set up camp. Bev is here and also Larry Chase.
We're having a
By Saturday quite a crowd has
gathered and things are heading skyward!
One of the main attraction will be
this fifth scale Saturn V. It took a year to design and build.
Several days are spend checking the electronics, packing the chutes, installing
the rocket motors.
Saturday the Saturn is moved out to the
launch site. Three tiers of commercial scaffolding are used to erect it!!
Once assembled, it is 22 feet tall!
The scaffolding is moved away when everything is finally ready.
"Range is clear. Sky is
clear. Going on... Five, Four, Three, Two, ONE"
Unfortunately two motors blow out
the side of the second stage
and the flight ends prematurely!
Parts and pieces are brought back.
Sunday the main event is a rocket
put up by Hillbilly Rocketry of Phoenix, a really fun bunch of folks.
Final touches are made and it is
hauled out to the launch site with pomp and circumstance!
After set-up and photo opportunities....
it is a go! Almost
7,000 feet up!
Sunday evening it is all over.
I'm the only one left!!