Fiske Planetarium Boulder Review

Yesterday we visited the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder on the CU Campus. Last year we had went to the Denver Museum of Natural History and were sorely disappointed with the Gates Planetarium, in 2001 it was rebuilt and is no longer a theater in the round. It didn’t feel like a planetarium at all and was more of an expensive IMAX type experience. Fiske Planetarium is still an old style planetarium even with a vintage 1973 star projector named Fritz, although they did mention they will be upgrading in the next year or so to a digital system.

Fiske Planetarium was also inexpensive. We had a groupon that gave us half price, but full price for adults is $7. Compared to the $16 for the Gates Planetarium that’s a great deal. We arrived early since we were driving up from Greeley. Fiske has a few very interesting exhibits and fun things to do while you are waiting for the show. Our 4 year old and 8 year old were fascinated with the different s and there was staff available to explain some of what we were seeing.

The show we saw was Colorado Skies: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. It started off with a view of the Colorado night sky where the presenter, a young man named Robin, pointed out several of the common constellations and showed us where they would appear. After the star show Robin gave a talk reviewing the history of astronomy and the astronomers that have made significant contributions to the field. This talk was accompanied by slides projected on the Planetarium screen/ceiling.

Seeing the night skies and constellations was great. The lecture was OK. The presenter did a very nice job, he was young, perhaps a student, but the talk was interesting and he seemed knowledgeable about most things. There were a few stumbles, but nothing major.

I did have a couple criticisms with the whole experience. First off was the time. The Fiske website specifically said the presentation would be from 8-9, but it actually went from 8-9:30. This extra 1/2 hour made for a challenge with our childcare situation. Second was the slideshow/lecture portion of the show. It was fine, but it was a little dry. I’m not sure if all their presentations are lectures like this, but I intend to go again and find out. I do wish their website was a little easier to use and went into more detail on what to expect in a planetarium show.

Overall, it was a great experience. I would highly recommend visiting the Fiske Planetarium and looking at the stars. Visit for more info.

Headworks Park Review

Last week Jason, Jake and I hopped in the truck and headed for Nebraska. Our destination (one of them anyway) was Headworks Park near Genoa.

To be honest, I was skeptical about going to Nebraska to ride, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The Headworks Park riding area was clean, well maintained and very fun to ride on.

This area was created by the dredging of a canal near the river. The sand is the silt that deposits at the bottom of the canal. Twice a year the area is shut down for two weeks so the maintenance people can dredge the canal. This is one thing to watch out for – right now it’s closed and we would not have been happy if it had been closed last week.

The sand at Headworks Park is very interesting. It’s almost a silica, extremely fine. We didn’t bring our sand paddles, but we didn’t have any problem at all climbing any of the hills. The main riding area is relatively flat with hills and trees on either side. Every couple hundred yards there are large pipes, appearantly connected to the dredging operations, that separate the areas. One side borders the canal that is dredged, the other side has a band of trees with many rideable trails. The far side of the trees opens out to the river and another large riding area.

Headworks Park is maintained, at least in part, by the Nebraska Off Highway Vehicle Associaton (NOHVA). My hat is off to those guys, they have done a great job with Headworks. In fact, while there we met one of the Association members who was very polite in welcoming us to the park.

It was a great day of riding. I will post pictures before long. We had a bit of trouble with Jake’s LT80 and I had some trouble with the Warrior, but that’s another post…

Dunes Recap

I know, I’m a little slow getting this posted, but here’s a little recap of our trip to the North Sand Hills in Walden Colorado.

Overall we had a good trip. Weather was great, and we didn’t break anything until the last day. Slacker tore up the front differential in the Blazer, but had a good time in two wheel drive. He also let the kick start fall of the LT250R. My Warrior performed OK. The new pipe I ordered from ebay made a significant difference, but I still couldn’t hang with Slacker’s LT250R or Delia’s Raptor 660.

A big shout out to a few people.

First, Rich. Congratulations on being ‘That Guy’ this year. Every Memorial day somebody tries to take a truck up an ATV chute and slides off in the trees. Rich was that guy this year, took his brand new 2007 Toyota Tundra (with less than 1000 miles on it) up a trail that he had NO BUSINESS climbing. Fortunately he got away with one small ding – no major damage.

Second, a big thanks to Taylor, Ben, Lindsey, Megan, Danny, Kenny and the rest. You guys are good neighbors – we appreciate sharing the Keg.

Finally, I didn’t take too many pictures this year, but here are a few of the better ones.

Motorcycle Jumps out of Deadmans

Deadmans was steep and nasty this year. On Saturday we spent quite a while watching guys jump out of there on dirt bikes. This guy was one of the better ones. Not sure who he was but…

Motorcycle with cameraman

he had a helmet cam and a cameraman following him around. If you see video of this somewhere, let me know.

Vega in Deadmans

As always, some of the big boys were there. This Vega and his partner in his Coupe are ridiculous. Someday I want a truck all paddled up like these.

Coupe climbing out of Deadmans

2007 Easter Jeep Safari

Across the Rocky Mountains and past Grand Junction, just a few miles across the Utah border sits the town of Moab.

Moab is legendary with four wheelers, mountain bikers and hikers alike. With hundreds of amazing trails and fantastic canyonland scenery it is the ultimate destination for anyone interested in off-road activities.

Suburban on the trail
Being short on cash, Jeff just getting started on his XJ project, and my Scout being in a perpetual state of unreadiness, Jason, Jeff and I just hopped in the Suburban and headed down for some sight seeing. We met up with Mike and his friend from Cheyenne, and had a great weekend of trail riding – I have the pictures to prove it.

Special thanks to Mike and T&T Customs for letting us ride along in their Rigs. A good time was had by all.