Monday, July 05, 2010

Big Surprise on Top of Hill

Using a GPS to navigate the thick woods, we punched a 1000 feet trail to the top of the hill and ended up hitting the northwest corner dead on. This corner is the site I had picked and photographed earlier in the blog.
It was the middle of the winter when I picked that site and now it looks entirely different, Dean flattened a small spot so we could evaluate the sky view and amount of trees that would need to be cut down to improve it, we noted:

Evaluation included the following:
1. amount of trees to take down
2. ability to remove wood from the site
3. final view obtained
4. cost to run power
5. accessibility in winter

After spending an hour of looking around, counting trees and shooting compass lines we headed back down the hill looking for a possible site lower down. Ends up the best site we could come up with is 10 feet from where we started the road and 30 feet from where the observatory was unloaded in the first place.
To keep us from feeling like we wasted our time, we tossed around the idea of tapping maple trees and running the tubes down the path to a central collection point, but I'm not putting this idea on the white board just yet.

This is the new site, it was cleared a few years ago for septic work, it has a road, good view, close electric service, and it will be easy to remove the downed wood.
This was the best compromise, far less trees removed and in time we can continue to improve the sky view, I was disappointed at first but getting happier by the minute.

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