Monday, August 13, 2012

To Thorn Point Fire Lookout for the Persied Shower, 08/11/12

Last Saturday evening was supposed to have been the most active night for the Persied Meteor Shower in years. I figured on a clear night with little moon, but I didn't figure on the afternoon thunder showers hanging around for the rest of the night...but I get ahead of myself. While planning to get out and see the light show it occurred to me that the best viewing would undoubtedly be from a high point well away from city lights. I thought about camping in Rose Valley somewhere but that didn't really have any adventure involved so I cooked up a plan to get Ruth up to the old fire lookout at Thorn Point.

In ten years of marriage Ruth has never backpacked into the wilds for a night under the stars. Car camping, no problem. Real woods, different story. As we hiked up the steep 3.6 miles to the point I made sure to remind her of all the cat tracks I'd seen on my last trip this way, and I pointed out several bear-clawed trees. You know, to set the mood. We'd started from the trail head sometime after six pm and we used up all the remaining light getting to the fire tower.

Notice Ruth's pack...(smiling)
...and mine (not smiling so much).
Ruthie in the ferns.
On the way in through Frazier Park we'd driven through the remains of a late afternoon shower and the skies were afire with sunset on the clouds. The air was warm and thick, laced with the scent of damp sage. Towering thunderheads caught the light. God rays beamed down into Lockwood Valley and the clouds cast dark shadows across the mountains.The hike up was hot and humid but the temperatures were coming down by the time we topped out on the point, arriving on top at full dark. I quickly set up a tent and we retired to the comforts of the fire tower. Ruth hadn't ever been to a place like this and she was pretty blown away by the entire arrangement. We lit some candles, set up some tunes on the i-pad and broke out a small take-out feast of tandoori shrimp and chicken tikka, some San Peligrino with lemon, a chocolate torte. The stars came out and we used the phenomenal i-pad app "Night Sky" for some advanced star-gazing, though the sky to the north (where the Persieds were visible) remained clouded over. That northern cloud cover obstructed our view of the event but we stayed up late and ended up seeing a couple dozen of the meteors.

Ruth was more into dancing with Ziggy Marley than taking pictures.
We had a beautiful sunset and a very, very nice night.


  1. Just spent the night there for the blue full moon. Perfect weather and the tower offered great shelter fron the 50 deg night.