Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse - December 21, 2010

In my opinion, this is the best and shortest composite video of the Lunar Eclipse. The last total lunar eclipse to occur on the winter solstice was in the year 1638, according to NASA.

Here is a still photo from the Associated Press of the lunar eclipse as seen in Washington DC, with the Washington Monument in the foreground:

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Historical Museum at Fort Missoula Montana

We have about four inches of new snow in Missoula this morning. (Dec 20, 2010)

Here are some wintertime photos from the museum grounds at old Fort Missoula, in Montana.  These photos are posted on the Historical Museum's Facebook page.  Photo credit is also listed on their Facebook Page.

Above is an Army Escort Wagon and an old school house
This is the same Army Escort Wagon from a really good angle
Above photo is the non-commissioned officers quarters.
(Click on photos to open large size view.)
Fort Missoula was notable for a couple of things, and books have been published about both.

The Buffalo Soldiers Bicycle Corps from the 1890s (Iron Riders) which were all Black Soldiers, and the World War Two Detention Center, which housed Italian prisoners-of-war. (An Alien Place and Italian Boys)


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Monday, December 6, 2010

Lolo Pass Cross Country Ski Area on Montana Idaho Border

These are my favorite views of the Lolo Pass visitors' center and cross country area.  These are U.S. Forest Service photos.

Above: Visitor's Center.  Below: Warming hut.

There are several cross-country skiing areas not far from Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley, but Lolo Pass is our favorite.  The courses are for beginners and intermediate skiers and there is a choice of several routes to follow, of various lengths, from 1.2 miles to 14 miles (longer routes may be ungroomed).  We got lost on our first trip here several years ago and ended up skiing in the dark over terrain that we had never seen before.  I would advise you to take precautions, use one of the course maps provided at the visitor center, take along water, energy bars and a headlamp or flashlight.  Allow yourself plenty of time.  If you have a friend who is familiar with the course, it might be a good idea to have company on your first visit.
Photo of the skiers trailhead.
There is a daily fee of five dollars, payable at the visitor center.  You can also buy a season pass for twenty dollars.  Don't park on the highway; that's illegal.

I must also mention that the area, at least the longer trails, are also used by snow machines, which can ruin an otherwise beautiful and peaceful experience.  Snow machines are not allowed on the 1.2 mile route and it is quite exhilarating.  Go around twice!!

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