Viewing Hale-Bopp at Argus Peak

28-30 Mar 1997 - by Debbie Bulger (view roster page)

In Greek mythology, Argus was a fabulous creature which had 100 eyes. When he was killed, Hera took his eyes and placed them in the tail of the peacock. Indeed, we were all eyes as we sat in our lawn chairs in the dark desert the nights of March 28 and 29. Our Saturday ascent of Argus was a delight. A leisurely seven hour, 3000 foot climb over easy terrain. As we hiked up Crow Canyon after crossing the ridge from Homewood Canyon, we saw bush after bush of blue lupine waving to us. We turned southwest up the ridge before the boundary of the China Lakes Naval Weapons Center so we wouldn't have to read any no trespassing signs that might be there. Juniper trees and pinion pines clothe the upper reaches of this 6562 foot DPS peak. That evening Hale-Bopp appeared in all its glory. The clouds from the previous night had moved on leaving a dark, dark sky. No city lights. Richard Stover and Larry Hester set up their tripods. Patricia Crane and I got out our binoculars. We clearly saw two tails on Hale-Bopp, a bright one composed of gas and a second, blue tail of dust. It was a heavenly trip.


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