Mcdonald’s Observatory–elevation 6,700 ft.

After Marathon we made our way to the Mcdonald’s Observatory. We climbed close to 2,000 ft. Biggest hill ever. We stocked up on food because the observatory was extremely remote, so our bags were good and heavy for the epic uphill. We also bought a bottle of wine, brie cheese and crackers in Fort Davis (the town at the base of the mountain) for our hosts as a nice gesture. Our host John, is one of the main astronomers at the observatory. Once he let us into his home, he drove us straight up to the observatory and took us to the catwalk atop of the telescope so that we could see the sunset. There was a 360 degree view of the surrounding plains and mountains. Truly breathtaking. No one for miles! He gave us a run-down about the telescope as well. We spent the next day checking out the observatory and even got to see the sunset from the catwalk of the other massive telescope. There was a full moon too. Just no words. Stunning scenery, a definite high point of the trip. It made the two hours of ascension up the mountain all worth it!

View of the moon around 7pm from the top of the Observatory.

View of the moon around 7pm from the top of the Observatory.

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Sunset, night two.

Sunset, night two.

Telescope at the Mcdonald's Observatory.

Telescope at the Mcdonald’s Observatory.

We started our day's ride from somewhere over yonder.

We started our day’s ride from somewhere over yonder.

John giving me and Darren the rundown about how the telescope operates.

John giving me and Darren the rundown about how the telescope operates.

The view from 1/4 up the mountain to the Mcdonald's Observatory.

The view from 1/4 up the mountain to the Mcdonald’s Observatory.

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See those two white dots on top of the mountain? That's the Mcdonald's Observatory, practically our place of residence for the night. John (our host) lives as close to the observatory as you can get. It looks close, but it was not. The climb was something the guys will never forget.

See those two white dots on top of the mountain? That’s the Mcdonald’s Observatory, practically our place of residence for the night. John (our host) lives as close to the observatory as you can get. It looks close, but it was not. The climb was something the guys will never forget.

Walk down from the observatory with John. Full moon too!

Walk down from the observatory with John. Full moon too!

A view from the climb up to the Observatory. Probably about 1/2 way up.

A view from the climb up to the Observatory. Probably about 1/2 way up.

The dudes stop at a picnic area off the highway near Fort Davis, TX.

The dudes stop at a picnic area off the highway near Fort Davis, TX.

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Climbing to the observatory.

Climbing to the observatory.

Sunset atop the observatory, night two.

Sunset atop the observatory, night two.

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I shot this atop the catwalk near the telescope at the Observatory. One of the perks of staying with a host who happens to be one of the lead astronomers at the place...

I shot this atop the catwalk near the telescope at the Observatory. One of the perks of staying with a host who happens to be one of the lead astronomers at the place…

Landscape surrounding Fort Davis, TX.

Landscape surrounding Fort Davis, TX.

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