Flagstaff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing

It’s hard to believe that this year will mark the 50th anniversary of man’s first walk on the Moon. It’s harder to believe that I still remember when it happened, even though I was a small boy at the time.

I remember my Dad making me watch the grainy image on our black and white TV of Neil Armstrong stepping off the Eagle on to the Moon’s surface and telling me that I should remember this day because it was very historic. It must have stuck, because I still do.

I was reminded of that time by a press release that rolled through my inbox from Flagstaff, Arizona. The desert town played a role in that great Apollo exploration in a variety of ways and they are celebrating it with 18 months of events.

When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon on July 20, 1969, followed by 11 astronauts over the next three years, it was made possible through years of preparation in northern Arizona, including astronaut science training, instrument development and lunar mapping.

According to the press release, Flagstaff’s lunar milestones include the following:

  • Every one of the 12 astronauts who walked on the Moon, from Neil Armstrong to Gene Cernan, prepared for their journeys in northern Arizona.
  • Artists worked with scientists at Lowell Observatory to create detailed lunar topographic maps, while cartographers at the USGS Flagstaff Science Campus developed geological maps of the Moon.
  • USGS Flagstaff Science Campus scientists taught astronauts geological principles and techniques at Meteor Crater, the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater, and the cinder fields that blanket northern Arizona.
  • Astronauts studied the Moon through telescopes at Lowell Observatory, Northern Arizona University, and the US Naval Observatory. In addition, the Museum of Northern Arizona supplied office space.
  • Using explosives, scientists created a simulated lunar surface in the cinder field near Sunset Crater, complete with a network of craters modeled after authentic Moon craters for training astronauts and testing several lunar rover vehicle simulators (moon buggies) in the surrounding volcanic features.
  • For decades Flagstaff has and continues to be an epicenter for space science studies.

I visited Flagstaff years ago with my wife on a Babymoon in a time before the word was even coined. We were on a Route 66 pilgrimage and we spent some time in Flagstaff and were charmed by the scenic town. It’s actually the world’s first International Dark Sky City and is home to Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered. We visited the observatory and found it an interesting stop.

As a weird aside, our son who my wife was carrying at the time, was fascinated with Pluto as a child so I don’t know what kind of cosmic coincidence that is.

Lift-off event for Flagstaff’s celebrations launches July 20, 2018 in downtown Flagstaff at the Orpheum Theater and events to mark the occasion will continue through 2019, including exhibits, lectures, book signings, demonstrations, lunar photography, guided hikes, entertainment, and restaurants and bars offering moon-themed dishes and drinks. You can find a calendar of events at www.flagstaffarizona.org/lunarlegacy.

 

Roadside America collects roadside attractions from North America’s highways and byways.

Whether it’s the world’s largest catfish or a replica of the Stanley Cup made out of bacon, Roadside America is a user-generated database of some of the weirdest roadside attractions to be found anywhere in America (and Canada). Check it out before your next road trip.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com

Video: Experience Yellowstone in less than two minutes


There’s a reason Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park is so popular. This video only starts to show why.

Photos: Amazing views of America

In honour of America’s July 4th birthday, here are some of the photos I’ve taken from my past few visits. I always enjoy my time visiting the United States. It’s a shame that the Canadian dollar is doing so poorly these days that it’s keeping Canadians from travelling there like they once did.

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The #Chicago #skyline at #sunset. #100likes

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Mail a coconut from Hawaii

Even if you never send postcards, you will want to send one when you get to Molokai, Hawaii’s fifth-largest island. That’s because you can mail a coconut from the Hoolehua Post Office to anywhere in the world with a personalized message on it. The coconut is free, but postage isn’t.

Video: Adirondack Mountains camping

The Adirondacks are just over the border in upstate New York, so I’ve been there many a time. The terrain and scenery is reminiscent of Quebec’s own Laurentian Mountains where I spend a lot of time in the summer which might be why I found this video so appealing. There isn’t much to it, but it captures the mood of getting away from the city to enjoy simpler times in the country.

Retro Road Map charts vintage destinations from all over the USA

If your travel tastes run towards motels with neon signs and visiting roller derby rinks, then Retro Road Map is the place for you to chart your vintage holiday while travelling across the USA.

http://retroroadmap.com/

 

If you want to only sleep in new or newly-renovated hotels in the U.S., check out NewSleeps.

Need a hotel? Head to Vegas.

Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other city in the world with more than 150,000 of them. Fortunately, they fill more rooms per night, on average, than any other destination in North America.

Trainspotting is not just a British thing. Railfanlocations if for American railway fans.