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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So what will you be doing at 5am on last day of January, 2018?
On the west coast we can see the lunar eclipse as the second full moon of 2018 sets on the western horizon before dawn.
Death Valley's Racetrack might make a good destination, primitive camp is about 2 miles away. The rock trackways might look even better under red moonlight. racetrack-playa-full-moon-death-valley-national-park-L.jpg
Here is lunar viewing data for The Racetrack. It, or nearby Eureka Dunes might make a good TW outing.

TimePhase DirectionAltitude
2:51 am Wed, Jan 31





Penumbral Eclipse beginsThe Earth's penumbra start touching the Moon's face.
255°




47.0°
3:48 am Wed, Jan 31





Partial Eclipse beginsPartial moon eclipse starts - moon is getting red.
264°




35.9°
4:51 am Wed, Jan 31





Total Eclipse beginsTotal moon eclipse starts - completely red moon.
273°




23.5°
5:29 am Wed, Jan 31





Maximum EclipseMoon is closest to the center of the shadow.
278°




16.1°
6:07 am Wed, Jan 31





Total Eclipse endsTotal moon eclipse ends.
Moon close to horizon, so make sure you have free sight to West-northwest.
283°




8.9°
6:58 am Wed, Jan 31Not directly visibleMoonsetBelow horizon
290°




-0.0°
7:11 am Wed, Jan 31Not directly visiblePartial Eclipse endsBelow horizon
292°




-2.0°
8:08 am Wed, Jan 31


Anyways an outing, weather permitting, somewhere is in the cards. Most of my eastern Sierra destinations will have mountains blocking the view low on the horizon so looking for suggestions with a good sky view. Warmer California coastline camps like Lime Kiln will likely be clogged with other fans of the eclipse. Maybe some desert hot springs, won't notice the cold if sitting in 104 degree water...hair might freeze though.
Who else is planning to take advantage of this, or are you just going to lie in bed and miss one of life's fleeting experiences?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Come to think of it isn't January in wet years when the flooded playa freezes over? :p
Then rising groundwater rafts up the ice sheets with their entrapped rocks. Horrendous winds blowing up out of Saline Valley and through the Lippencutt Pass then breaks up the ice rafts which then bow about banging into each other while dragging the semi-suspended rocks across muddy play bottom. Thus is the best theory I know for the irregular tracks short of Space Aliens.
race rocks.jpg Of course this is a theory since when these conditions occur the playa is unreachable and rather inhospitable. Best scientists can do outside of wind tunnel laboratories is to plant GPS enabled rocks on the playa and hope the winter will generate the right conditions. rock gps.jpg

So perhaps I'ld be safer and warmer at the Hot Springs. hot springs.jpg
 

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Dang I was thinking about going up there to meet you someplace but those darn mountains will block it. Even my desert will be blocked.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
We'll be better off sitting on a warm beach in Baja watching your Drtluvr race her TW up and down along the water's edge, no blocking mountains to seaward.

However the most reasonable of all my unreasonable ideas still might be camping at the hot springs since they are far enough out on the pediment to place mountain range to the west fairly low on the horizon, view from the pool is pretty dramatic and can always run naked and steaming back to my van parked but yards away. Mud can be an issue if not frozen of after recent rains though, will monitor weather in coming weeks. hot spring.jpg

Once sun is up there is a lot of local riding to be done, old mine sites and of course can do little used car shopping. car.jpg
combi.jpg
 

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Hey Fred,
Thanks for mentioning this. January 31st will be my 62nd birthday. So nice of the universe to celebrate!
Mrs Trip and I will be on our way back to Tucson from Mexico if all goes as planned. I will have to find a good spot to watch!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Weather in the west has improved enough that I will go enjoy some moonlight on Rhodetrip's birthday, hope he gets his lifetime annual park pass.

Fully aware I may not see eclipse maxima since moon may be below the event horizon but a fellow has got to try or life passes us by.
 

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Being in the NW, where it seems to rain most days from October to June I doubt we will get a chance to see the moon. Traveling to eastern wa to see it the cascade mountains will hide it at eclipse. Being we have been having earthquakes in Cal and Ak on both sides of us, I don't like the idea of being near our ocean. It might just be the trigger with the extra pull of gravity to set the one off we know is coming. At least it is not happening high overhead where the most pull would be.
 

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Cloudy this morning so it was a no-go for the SBM in Jackass Gulch.
 

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That's weird. Your ahead of us in the time zone day thing but behind us in the Dracula Blue Super Red Blue Moon thing. To help my confusion I'll try not to think...about this. I'm still trying to grasp 1, 2, 3, or 10 full moons in a month. All I really care is I can see better at night with a full moon, blue, super or otherwise when I'm lost on a trail in the middle of the mountains with nothing but bears, mountain lions and sasquatches eyeballing me for their next meal. Where was I again...
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
It was awesome for me camped next to the hot springs. Super bright moonlight and warm temps had me wandering around. Empty overnight except for coyotes in distance, jackrabbits, and a noisy string of fifteen to twenty wild burros who ambled by fifty yards or so away. Towards dawn just as a sliver of sun lit moon returned a nice young couple arrived and hopped in the pool with me. No pics since we were all skinny dipping and it would have been rude to pick up the camera even though two equally full round and interesting objectsbjaf just made their appearance.

After exploring mines and side canyons I have moved to another tub for tonight's moonlight.


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I got out of bed at 5:55. looked out the window in my pajamas, saw the last bit before totality...... went back to bed at 6. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the one we saw up on the Wasatch Plateau 3 years ago..
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Bright moonrise over Sand Mountain was very nice. Totality was not as wonderful as full blue moon overhead at midnight.


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Kinda of sucked here in Ohio...just enough clouds to keep me home and shooting off my indoor landing rather than out to the lake....

View attachment 154433

But I did add a filter to make the "Blue Moon" look blue :cool:

DSC02867 (1).JPG
 
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