"Though some river rats will disagree with me, I have been able to conclude only that Powell's party in 1869 survived by the exercise of observation, caution, intelligence, skill, planning - in a word, Science. A man or a civilization could do the same."
Stegner, Wallace, Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, Penquin Books, New York, 1953. p. viii
The World Wide Web offers many resources to help you develop a detailed background and understanding about traveling into the Grand Gulch and Cedar Mesa areas. Here is a brief sampling.
Directory to sections in this page -
Several on-line map resources -
A couple resources that can help plan your road trip for you -
The Bureau of Land Management along with the USDA Forest Service have deployed a GeoCommunicator site that provides a wide range of geographic information that focuses on the 12 western states. They also offer an email notification of activities, local events, updated data sets and maps.
Here is a neat site for getting an idea of upcoming weather. This site presents a satellite picture of North America taken in the last 15 - 20 minutes. (Use the Infrared View after dark.) Click on any area to get a magnification centered on that spot. And even though the initial picture may appear cloud covered, you can often see through to the ground (to get a lake or river for a landmark) after a few magnifications.
Another site with weather forecasts and a good satellite type of view of the country, this time with state lines and cities -
Astronomy magazine has a good satellite type of view of the country, again with state lines -
The traditional weather forecast site with extensive links to worldwide weather is -
What star is that? Here is a site that gives you a custom star map with the names of the stars and constellations for anywhere on Earth. Enter your latitude and longitude (Note that this site comes from Zürich, Switzerland and you must enter local coordinates, such as 37 degrees, 38 minutes north, 109 degrees, 28 minutes west for the Blanding area), or select a nearby city -
Sky and Telescope magazine also has an online star chart that gives you the current stars and constellations -
Occasionally, meteor showers can be seen from the high desert. Here are some web sites that give dates and times for viewing various showers -
Also check with the Astronomy Magazine (above) which often has coverage on current meteor showers.
Interested in seeing if you can spot a satellite? Give this site your location (either specify your geographical coordinates, or by selecting a city from their extensive database), this site calculates the location in the sky and times to look for any of the brightest satellites. This site includes predictions for the International Space Station and when applicable, the Space Shuttle. Also take a look at their predictions for the Iridium satellites, which tumble and are hard to see, but are spectacular.
The access in this site is a bit daunting, the best approach is the following path -
Occasionally, during periods of intense solar activity, the aurora borealis can be seen at low latitudes, such as the Cedar Mesa area. Here is a site that gives you the aurora forecast for tonight. This display is centered on Fairbanks, Alaska, but select "custom maps" to get a plot of the auroral zone in other longitudes.
(This Aurora forecast is not made during the summer months in central Alaska - from mid April through mid August, since it does not get dark enough to see this phenomenon. See the NOAA Space Weather forecast below for a satellite view of the aurora.)
And take a look at a fascinating collection of aurora photographs, some of them taken in the Fairbanks area from directly under the curtains. Select, under IMAGES, Shots from Alaska, and the Jan Curtis images.
For a much more general background on what is going on in our planetary backyard, check out NOAA's current Space Weather forecast -
In case you want to do some more more Internet searching, here are a couple search engines -
- URL of this page: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/environment/cacv/'CACVRSCW.HTM'
- Copyright ©1996, 2003 SCCS.