KITT PEAK NATIONAL OBSERVATORY

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 No ticket or pamphlet

 

October 1993 or 1994

Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tohono O'odham Reservation, Sells, AZ

 

We went to Kitt Peak Observatory for Astronomy class I believe but Scott and I enjoyed it. On the way we stopped up at the pumpkin Patch and took videos of the kids (no photos sorry).  At the pumpkin patch, it was the largest I've ever been too; also, they had horse/buggy rides, petting zoo, sold gourds or other fall related items (Cider and pies); they gave the kids cider and cookies, they had a few activities.  It was cute.  The Observatory itself is a National Observatory.  The idea of having this huge telescope in the desert makes for good viewing; but the lights of Tucson were growing in number decreasing capability... The observatory does day and night observation with three night telescopes, 19 optical telescopes and 2 radio telescopes. It's located 56 miles southwest of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham reservation.  When we went I believe it was free or like one dollar donation.  Now it's 2.00 but still a nominal fee for such an experience.  See site for hours.  They restrict tours during certain observation periods. Besides the pumpkin patch, shopping and the zoo, the thing we loved most about Arizona were the swap meets. We visited three of them regularly. Our favorite was Tanque Verde.  Here, this was a REAL swap meet.  Old stuff and non "new/cheap" items.  In other words a really large garage sale and antiques without the antiques prices.  Our second favorite was Tucson Bargain center (I think that was it); it was newer but had old stuff still, but the only problem was it had less dealers as it cost more to go rent space there.  Third favorite was the Tohono O'odham reservation; old stuff again but very small; best thing about it was the handmade Indian artifacts like baskets and Katchinas.  The Indoor/Outdoor one was just indoor at the time and was nothing but cheap knick knacks, newer items but nothing of substance.  It was ok to get craft things there though.  Back to Kitt Peak; it's not a place to eat, drink or buy souvenirs; it's a place of learning and is for the serious space enthusiast.  The Swap meets do have food and drinks; porta potties may be available. All swap meets are free to visit, but Tanque Verde and my second favorite may have parking fee (nominal).

 

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Sites you might like to visit:

Pumpkin Patch (the one we visited isn't online now; Bucklew farm but here's another)

Swap Meet (Tanque Verde, Indoor/Outdoor/Tohono O'odham and one other)

 


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