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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