No one knows what the body can do. -Spinoza
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Our house rests below Lowell Observatory, one of the oldest observatories in the United States, the sight of discovery of Pluto (the former planet), the rings of Uranus, and the three largest known stars. Lowell is still an active research institution searching for near-Earth asteroids, and also conducting a survey of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Neptune.
The nine-year old and I have a ritual of once a week or so driving up the windy road towards Lowell, then spinning about through the parking lot on top, and then journeying back down the hill again to home. A friend was visiting back in November of last year. We took her to the top to offer her a view of Flagstaff at night. The lights are lovely and sweet. While making the turn into the Lowell parking lot we saw the handful of cars parked there looking out at the lights and made jokes about what they were actually up to. That conversation has been memorialized now in the weekly trip the nine-year old and I make.
Tonight, driving to the top of Mars Hill, as the cars at the view point come into sight:
The nine-year old: Oh! Gettin' some action in the back seat!
Me: All those cars?
The nine-year old: Oh! Nope. Not that one. They're gettin' it on the hood.
The nine-year old: (laughs) No! They are! Look! They're laying there on the hood of the car.
The nine-year old: (laughs more) Yeah. They're probably actually just looking at the stars though.
Me: Oh! Is that what people come up here for?