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ISS & Atlantis passing over Drake last night...

ISS & Atlantis passing over Drake last night

Wednesday,  June 21st - ISS And Atlantis Flyovers...

The past two evenings the International Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-117) have made tandem flyovers of our area presenting sky watchers with fantastic views of the pair.

Area photographer Darrell E. Spangler captured this image of the ISS and Atlantis flying in tandem over Drake, Colorado on Wednesday evening at around 10:30pm. Spangler's photo is also being featured today on

The Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to land today bringing an end to the marvelous views over the past few evenings. However, the ISS will be making solo flyovers for the next few nights and will be brighter that ever before due to the recent addition of large solar arrays.

To see the ISS flyover look to the northwest about 10 degrees above the horizon  at around 11:10pm tonight. The ISS will appear as a very bright star traveling overhead at 11:13pm and finally disappearing into the Earth's shadow about 10 degrees above the southeastern horizon at 11:15pm.

To get flyover times for different dates and locations around the globe visit

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SMN Community Post...

SMN Community Post

Wednesday,  June 20th - New Community Post Started...

Announcing the SMN Community Post where anyone can freely post comments on issues pertaining to our mountain community. Please feel free to use this newsboard to share your opinions and views with your neighbors and others in our area and beyond. Anonymous posts okay.

We at SMN have received numerous comments on issues like maintaining the access road, unauthorized fires and other community concerns. It was suggested by one area resident that having a spot where community residents can share ideas and views might lead to solutions for many of these issues. We agree 100% and have started the SMN Community Post to provide this service to our community.

Please feel free to post anything that you feel would be of interest to others in our community. All comments, good or bad, are welcome. It is our hope that by sharing ideas and viewpoints, that we as a community can better come together and work as a team for the good of all. For easy access we have added a permanent link to our new community newsboard in the left menu bar of this site.

Please note that any pornographic material, obscenities, spam or other objectionable material will be swiftly removed with the user who posted it being permanently blocked from future posting on the newsboard.

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Twin Owls Rock Formation...

Twin Owls Rock Formation

Sunday,  June 17th - Photo Of The Week...

This week's photo, taken on Saturday, features an early morning view of the magnificent Twin Owls rock formation on Lumpy Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The "Twin Owls" are granite outcrops shaped by thousands of years of weathering into the familiar sight we see today. Twin Owls is also a popular destination for area rock climbers.

Often overlooked by even the most frequent visitors, the Twin Owls Loop is one of the more diverse and enjoyable hikes on the Park's east side. This lightly traveled loop offers varied terrain, mature aspen groves and good wildlife viewing opportunities, including a variety of raptors that nest in the Lumpy Ridge area. The trail’s lower elevation and warmer temperatures make it an ideal 3-4 season hike, with autumn being an especially nice time of year to visit.

The Twin Owls Trailhead is located just north of downtown Estes Park. The trailhead and parking lot begin outside of the park and therefore requires no entry fee. From downtown Estes Park, take Devil's Gulch Road north until you see the big sign for MacGregor Ranch on your left. Bear left under the MacGregor Ranch sign onto the dirt road. Follow this to its terminus at the Twin Owls Trailhead and parking lot. If all spaces are taken, you can park near the entrance to MacGregor Ranch and walk the dirt road to the trailhead.

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