A few weeks ago, we took a long drive up into the Diablos to the peak of Mount Hamilton, 4200 feet up. There’s an observatory at the top, along with 365 degree views that include the whole peninsula, Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay, the surrounding mountains, and, on clear days, Yosemite. Indoors, inside the 150 year-old building perched there on top, is a huge refractor telescope. It’s the sort of magical place that’s reserved for brilliant astronomers, native species of animals, and curious laypeople from the valley who are willing to invest several hours on a Sunday afternoon to sludge their way up through the mountains, along a legendary and whopping 365 turns in the road, with no guardrails and a healthy dose of motion sickness (as well as several pounds of snacks and novelties stashed in the backseat to keep the smallest traveler happy). The observatory is open to the public a few days of the week and offers free tours of the refractor, and the guide even let Sam take a peek through the telescope.
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