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By Nadia Werby
Special to The PREVIEW
Memorial Day weekend is Local Appreciation Days at Chimney Rock National Monument. Chimney Rock Interpretive Association invites all area residents to visit Chimney Rock for half price tours, so get out your comfortable shoes, call your friends and make a day of it.
Guided tours are available at 9:30 a.m., 10:30, 11:30, noon, 1:30 p.m. and 2:3. Self-guided tours are available between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Discounted prices are $6/adult and $2.50/child (ages 5-16). Children under the age of 5 are free. Please view www.chimneyrockco.org for more information.
The first Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Program of the season will take place on Friday, May 23. The evening will begin with a talk at the Visitor Cabin amphitheater. Topics range from what the ancient people noticed in the night sky to how a telescope helps us see the stars.
As darkness descends, guests drive to the High Mesa parking lot, where volunteer astronomers await with telescopes to provide a closer look at the wonders of the night sky. Each telescope will focus on a different feature and the volunteer will change that focus periodically during the two-hour viewing time. This program is perfect for young families and those with limited mobility.
The Colo. 151 gate will open at 6:45 p.m. Program starts at 7:15 p.m. and ends at 8:15 p.m. Observing starts at 8:45 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. Reservations are suggested as space is limited. Cost of attendance is $10 for adults and $5 for children (ages 5-16.) Participants in the Night Sky Program are advised to come prepared with binoculars, water (which is also for sale at the cabin), flashlights, blankets and coats. Please visit www.chimneyrockco.org for reservations or call (877) 444-6777.
CRIA is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that runs the daily operations and interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest.