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Mar 28, 2017

Final space camp photos
last update: 03/28 @ 11:15

Robert as GNC for Space Shuttle mission.

And in his suit, ready for EVA and visit to moon base.

Mar 27, 2017

Back from space …
last update: 03/27 @ 19:48

… or, at least Space Camp. Robert had a GREAT time, I enjoyed my time in Alabama, and Sarah enjoyed checking out the rockets and seeing Robert in his space environment. Many more photos in the vacations section.

Mar 21, 2017

Sipsey River II
last update: 03/21 @ 18:22

Today, I went to the Sipsey River picnic area and trailhead. It’s the normal put in for the run. Again, I paddled upstream for a while before heading back to the car.

It’s just as pretty in this stretch as close to the take out, where I was yesterday.

There was a little riffle right at the bridge and picnic park. That was fun to play in: a little more current and some eddies.

I think that’s Thompson Creek coming in on the left. I poked up there a bit before going up the Sipsey a bit further.

I saw more fish in this stretch. I think there were more and deeper pools as well — probably those are related. Even with the deeper pools, most of the river was pretty shallow and I ended up polling upstream a couple times.

Very pretty, and with the steady, good current, going upstream was good exercise as well. If I happen to back here with two shuttle vehicles and there is at least this much water, I’d do the full run. There is supposed to be one class II rapid in the middle.

Mar 20, 2017

Space Camp!
last update: 03/20 @ 19:17

Sarah arranged for Robert to get into Space Camp. I thought it might be a nice drive.

It was not a bad drive, and I’ve done my part to warp Robert’s mind: we listened to all of Moon Over Morocco on the way down.

With a few stops, it turned into just about exactly 12 hours.

As we were there Saturday night, we got to check out the museum Sunday morning before registration and orientation.

That gave Robert a chance to try our several command modules. Mercury was kind of cool, but clearly a mock-up. The control panel was wooden.

Apollo was cooler: space for three and real switches to switch (some even activated lights — I warned him about the switch that turned on the red light).

There were rockets outside to look at; the first full scale space shuttle mockup (used to figure out how to move it around).

And a really impressive Saturn V inside, suspended sideways overhead. It takes a while to walk from one end to the other.

After a surprisingly good lunch in the Mars Cafe, we joined the rest of the trainees: found the assigned dorm room and scored an excellent bed, picked up the cool flight suit, found his book, took one more look at the museum displays.

Then joined in the orientation. The first part of the orientation was leading the parents away (many of the kids had flown in and so parents were were the minority). The parents were told it would all be fine, see you in a week.

What the trainees were told… we’ll have to wait and find out.

Sipsey River
last update: 03/20 @ 18:53

With Robert delivered to Space Camp (more on that shortly), I went in search of a place to put my boat in the water.

The weather was fantastic!

The Sipsey is the only Wild and Scenic river in Alabama. It was pretty low. And with just me, I decided to see how far up I could get from the take out.

I’ll have to consult the GPS location that hopefully the camera captured, but I’m going to guess about three quarters of a mile.

The current was not too strong, but it was steady. And I had to get out at one spot (my canoe is not a speedy boat, designed to turn rather than track or go fast).

As you can see, it was beautiful!

There were several spots where the rocks overhanging the river dripped in water. This waterfall was just at the bridge.

Further up, there were a couple small creeks that tumbled down to the stream bed.

One I could hear in the woods just a little ways back from the shore, but it disappeared underground before it made it to the river bank. I thought that was odd, but probably part of it being a bit low.

Eventually, I thought I’d had enough going against the flow and found myself at another spot I would have to get out and pull the boat upstream.

so I headed back down (after a snack of a couple Mandarin oranges — thanks SZap).

All in all, a very nice afternoon in a very pretty spot.

(Don’t be fooled by the selfie, it really wasn’t that narrow, but the rocks made a good perch for the camera on timer.)

Mar 15, 2017

Snow and Ice
last update: 03/15 @ 21:38

Not too much snow, but enough to close school for a day. And then it froze overnight. When they went back to school, Robert discovered the perfect place to practice his penguin slide…

We have been watching Earth 2 and Spy Animals over the last week or so. Both had sections on penguins and their fun mode of transportation (at least downhill).

Mar 14, 2017

Ladysmith Black Mambazo!!!
last update: 03/14 @ 22:35

Guess where we were tonight!

Sarah called it a late St. David’s day present. Robert and I just called it great! With the recent snow and questionable roads, it wasn’t sold out. We all had a great evening.

Thank you SZap for the excellent Tuesday evening entertainment (and Robert photo)!

Mar 09, 2017

last update: 03/09 @ 21:33

While I got to go to Model UN, Sarah got to see Robert and the Shakespeare Elective group from his school perform at the Folger Shakespeare Theater in DC. She says they did great and won several citations.

(That’s Robert is his current fav red fedora.)

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