As you begin to prepare for an amazing trip to the warm, sunny Tucson, you might wonder what kind of activities you can do outside the conference to clear your head and explore the “Optics Valley”. As I mentioned in my previous post, Tucson is an exceptional venue with many opportunities for thrill-seekers and outdoors lovers, as well as for those attendees looking to relax and hang loose.
If you are looking for adventure and thrill, whether it’s hiking, mountain biking, or just walking (vigorously, of course!) then you’ll be delighted to find out that Tucson is surrounded by 5 mountain ranges teeming with trails and city, state, and national parks. Tucson also hosts some of the clearest skies in the hemisphere, excellent for astronomy. Here are a few of my recommendations for excellent escapes:
Mountains: Santa Catalina Mountains, located in northern Tucson, have the highest average height in Tucson, with Mt. Lemon as its highest point at 9,147 ft. There are steep trails and rock climbing opportunities [http://www.visittucson.org/things-to-do/rock-climbing/] for the rugged adventurer (Finger Rock Trail), and relaxed walks for the leisurely hiker (Sabino Canyon Trail). The Tucson Mountains, on the west side of Tucson, house the Valley View Overlook Trail, a family-friendly hike that provides an extraordinary view over 35 miles around the Tucson Valley.
Observatories: we’re optics people in this conference, Tucson has excellent skies, and telescopes are our bread and butter! The Flandrau Observatory hosts a 16-inch telescope; it’s a perfect opportunity for attendees to take their families. If you’re looking for high-end optical systems, the Kitt Peak National Observatory 54 miles away from Tucson supports “the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun”. If you’re from Japan, Brazil, India, Sweden, or even from Tucson, there are definitely plenty of good places to discover in the vicinity of our conference.
On a different note, this year is the 50th
anniversary of the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.
In my next post, I will discuss a multitude of exciting events that will happen on the days leading up and during the conference.As a preview, check out this website
Posted: 9/13/2014 3:47:47 PM by
Pedro Vallejo Ramirez
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