By Ted Grussing
… my friend Rich Oliver at Lowell Observatory sent me some of the most interesting comments relative to activities on and around the San Francisco Peaks that I am including them here. Also the photo tonight is a nice view of the Sedona area and up onto the plateau. This view encompasses most of the Oak Creek Watershed area. Off the end of the runway a few miles you can see where Oak Creek and Munds Canyon split with Oak Creek Canyon making a left turn behind Wilson Mountain and Munds Canyon veering a little to the right and heading a relatively short distance to Munds Park, Anyhow, it was a glorious day to be up there.
So here are Rich’s comments on the photo last night … I think you will find it as interesting as me.
“To add to that description, I believe the small cinder cone behind Agassiz in this shot is A-1 Mountain; home to the A-1 Ranch and namesake of A-1 Steak Sauce (invented by the cook there).
Sometime you might want to take a closer look at the summit of Schultz Peak. That is the SE-most of the Peaks. It appears to have a rounded top as seen from Flag, but like the others it is a ridge. All current maps follow an error by USGS and label it “Doyle Peak”. To confuse matters even more they label an unnamed elevation toward Elden as “Schultz”. Anyway, Schultz Peak is east of Schultz Saddle, which did not get changed on the maps. Schultz Saddle is where the Weatherford Road enters the caldera and it allowed Lowell astronomers to haul equipment to that point where it was only another 600 feet of additional elevation to the summit of Schultz. They built a telescope shelter with a roll-off roof there and for several years it was the highest observing site on the planet at about 10,500 feet. After that the Swiss took the title with a slightly higher site on the Jungfrau. Lowell used the Schultz Peak site in cooperation with astronomers from Cornell to test the then-new vacuum aluminization method of coating mirrors, and later to make observations that revealed the height of meteors above Earth. There are – I believe – four scientific papers that were based on work done at the Schultz Peak site. I think that is sufficient reason to change the names (“Doyle” got switched, too) back to the way they were originally, but I cannot get anybody interested.
Anyway, in 1937 maintenance of the road ceased. Lowell removed the telescope and polar axis back to Mars Hill, where they now lie rusting, unrecognized, gathering dust and tripping the occasional hapless passer-by. The structure fell into disrepair, but then in the 60’s and 70’s a fellow I know only as “Branch” repaired the structure enough to serve as a shelter for hikers. It is still there immediately south of the summit and I can’t help wondering what it looks like from the air. It should be recognizable by its corrugated metal roof. The exact site was chosen by V.M. Slipher (then Director of Lowell Observatory) for the occurrence of a pair of Bristlecone Pines in a north-south orientation that allowed them to be cut and the stumps employed as piers for the Polar Axle.”
So how about it my friends at USGS & AZGS … let’s change the name back as Rich suggests … I’ll get the photos Rich suggests next week when I get back from California … finished application process for my Passport so good to go for Iceland. Fun day and time to put a wrap on it.
Share a smile or three
Thank you Rich!!!
May words unkind and false ne’er pass your lips,
Nor harsh and low ambitions drive you on.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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