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Archive for August 23rd, 2008

Now that my summers at PARI are over, it helps to look back at all the fun times I’ve had there. Living in complete and total isolation was fun for a while, but now I’m ready to be less than 40 minutes from a grocery store that takes a debit card. What were my top five moments at PARI? Here we go,

1. Running my car into a concrete wall

Who wants to run their car into a wall? While it might seem like an undesirable event it definitely beat the alternative. As I parked on the top of a mountain and ascended some steps to the top of a structure for my evening sunset watch, I started to hear a crackling sound… almost like tires that were moving. Immediately I sprang into action as I realized that I had left my handbrake off… on the top of a mountain. The only outcome my mind could visualize as I ran toward my vehicle was that of a 800+ft drop as I stared in horror at my former means of transportation. Fortunately, my tires were turned as I parked so as the car rolled it turned and ran into a concrete wall at about 10mph. Breaking the rear lights and bumper a little… nothing some duct tape couldn’t fix. Whew… that was a close one.

Alas, you almost died that day

2. UFO Sighting

On my birthday this year, Jane came over for a visit and as we stepped outside my building, there was a yellow light that hovered above the clouds. It clearly wasn’t the moon because we could see the moon on the other side of the sky and it was far to large. It looked as if this light was right above the clouds. I rushed to get my camera but realized I’d left it in the other building with my laundry. I hopped in my car to go get my camera and the yellow light moved to follow me. I grabbed my camera and drove back to Jane and the yellow light moved back. I ran inside to throw all my stuff on the bed and got my camera out of its bag and brought it outside to take photos but in regular crazy person story fashion… the craft was gone.

3. Fish Fry at PARI

On Derrod’s (A fellow PARI Intern) last day at PARI we fried up the over 100 mountain trout that we had caught and filleted for the PARI staff. One of my favorite things about PARI was meeting all the people, the staff and the other interns! We had a great time!

nature 123 by you.

Just some of the fish we caught one day at Wolf Creek

4. Duke TIP 2008

I truly enjoyed participating in the summer programs at PARI but most specifically the Duke TIP Program in Astronomy and Astrophysics hosted at PARI. As I taught a few course sections on Astrophysics and Cosmology I had a lot of fun, but my connection to the kids came through living with them as their TA. I remember one night we bucked the rules and looked out at the mountain skies. They all said it was the most amazing moment they had ever experienced.

The Milky Way by you.

This is what the sky looked like! It was unbelievable!
5. Planning for Waterfalls!
In the heart of Transylvania County’s home of 200+ waterfalls, planning for waterfalls was one of the greatest moments of my time at PARI. Kevin Adams book, “Waterfalls of North Carolina” helped out a lot as I found some amazing off the trail waterfalls. Jane loved to visit the waterfalls that looked untouched by people, and we found plenty of those. My photography skills were heavily refined by the many shooting opportunities provided!

Courthouse Falls by you.

Courthouse Falls was just a few minutes away from PARI

Runners-up for Best Moments

Job, Robbie, Mandeep and Libby visit for 4th of July

Potato Cannon action with Wes, Ale and Josh and Jane, especially when Jane hit the building full of children sleeping with a potato

Disposing of Fish parts with Mike and Derrod

Sunrise/Sunset at PARI

Final Salute by you.
Goodbye PARI! I’ll hope to visit soon!

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