Yeah, I’ve got theme going here. Don’t you worry, I have more stories about being lost than you have time to read. This can go on for forever!
While driving back from New Mexico, The Chef and I decided to detour to McDonald’s Observatory. Lucky for me, The Chef doesn’t just keep me well fed, he also is a star nerd too. So we decide to take a detour to the observatory for one of their Star Parties. Yes, Star Parties! It should be noted that the peeps at McDonald’s Observatory are using the word “party” loosely. They do not offer beverages and there is no music or chit chat. And it just so happened that we were in the area on the night of a Star Party! They also have a Twilight Program beforehand. We didn’t make it in time, but I’m going to guess they don’t offer cocktails there either.
As super exciting as the observatory is, it is not the point even though the topic of discussion that evening was my absolute favorite constellation Orion. I’ll hold off on my love/nerd rant for another time. Still going to sneak in some pics for your viewing pleasure.
On our way up the mountain, the fog started to roll in. Somewhere along the way we passed javelinas. It was exciting! That was when I realized I lost signal and couldn’t Google fun facts on javelinas to chatter to The Chef.
I’ve been losing signal the whole trip off and on, no big deal.
Except, The Chef lost signal too and he never did. Surely it would reappear once we made it around the bend? It did not. The fog just got thicker.
We kept our eyes peeled for road signs. Finally, we made it up to the top of the mountain at 6,780 ft. It was really, crazy dark. Super cold and crazy dark. You see, the observatory has minimal lighting and red bulbs where they do have lighting.
There was lots of dark and lots of clouds. There was so much cloud coverage we couldn’t see any stars and had a virtual sky gazing tour (no where near as cool).
After seeing the giant telescope, we skipped the second hour of the evening. The evening was getting late and we still hadn’t confirmed a hotel. For some reason, Ft. Davis had a shortage of hotel rooms. The 16 miles winding down the mountain in the dark and the fog with no wifi or signal was an estimated 30 minute drive to Ft. Davis. With no public wifi and an unhelpful volunteer at the desk who wouldn’t pull up a map let alone print one off, dictated the appropriate turns and twists to get off the mountain. It was not reassuring.
We snagged a hotel brochure with a teeny tiny map hoping for the best. Exasperated I couldn’t Google if javelinas eat humans (since obviously we would get lost, breakdown, and be murdered by wild piggies) I started shaking my phone at The Chef. As if he didn’t already understand that my phone wouldn’t work, I pulled up the compass that should have been able to tell us our elevation. Except the compass started moving.
Turns out, your compass isn’t based off your cellphone signal, the compass is electronic. While it is not the most accurate option, it is enough to find your way down a mountain away from murderous javelinas in a pinch.
So when you get lost in Paris, call America Express and when you’re lost on a mountain without a signal, pull up your compass to avoid driving around in circles hidden in the fog.