Clark and Y Chapman, Rancho Europa, 2083 Lazy Z. Rd., Nederland, CO 80466 USA

Last updated: 23 January 2019

You may link to our much older website covering 1996 to 1999. You may enjoy our 2012 Galapagos pictures. Our older 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016/2017 holiday letters and pictures are posted separately. Scroll down for our new, belated 2018 holiday letter and pictures posted midJanuary 2019.

Critique of Final Environmental Impact Statement for 'Moffat Collection System Project' (Enlargement of Gross Reservoir)

Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, 9 June 2014, but ignored when they granted the permit in 2017.

But the project still requires approval by the Boulder County Commissioners.

Happy New Year and Peace on Earth for All of 2019.

January 2019

Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,

Though it was a challenging year, 2018 was our 25th wedding anniversary and we celebrated with some spectacular adventures. We hope for worldwide, national, and personal health turn-arounds during 2019 and a good year for everyone.

Our year’s highlight was an October trip, with friends, to Bora Bora, where we stayed in an over-water bungalow at the Intercontinental Resort on a motu. It was a restful and luxurious stay, swimming in the waters off our deck, enjoying the pleasures of the spa, and sipping on very-expensive cocktails as the sun set behind the pinnacle of Mt. Otemanu. We had a couple of boat rides away from the resort, to a sister resort on the main island, and encircling the island’s blue lagoon with a couple of phenomenal stops to snorkel.

Another adventure, which enabled Clark to chalk up his 50th state, was our year-long-delayed National Geographic cruise in Alaska’s Inside Passage. Frankly we have more bears and land mammals around our home than we saw on the cruise, but the whales and glaciers were special. The highlight was our flight in a mosquito-sized Cessna over the LeConte Glacier and icefields.

Our best car-trip of the year was in “Darth” (Y’s Subaru Outback). The trip was anchored by the Telluride Film Festival, began in Redstone, continued to the north rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison, to Ouray, to Telluride, and on to Moab where we stayed in a new hotel on the Colorado River, beneath the red-rock canyon walls. We visited Canyonlands, including the bluish core of an asteroid impact crater called Upheaval Dome, and also took a spectacular drive down into the canyons on our way back to Moab. And we had a fine morning in Arches National Park before the crowds arrived. On our drive back home, we stayed one night in a new “chateau” hotel on the banks of the Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colorado.

The year 1968, fifty years ago, was of course momentous and memorable, with two assassinations, the Chicago police riot at the Democratic Convention, the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, Apollo 8 circling around the Moon, and so on. But it also marked some beginnings of Clark’s career as a planetary scientist. In April we attended the 50th anniversary reunion of the short-lived M.I.T. Planetary Astronomy Lab, run by Tom McCord, where Clark did his PhD work. And in October, we traveled to Knoxville for the 50th meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society. Clark is the only scientist to have attended every one of those 50 meetings, beginning with an inaugural meeting in Austin in December 1968. In Knoxville, he gave an invited plenary talk about the first 15 years of the DPS. Earlier in the year we went to the first post-MESSENGER Mercury meeting; the book on MESSENGER’s scientific results, including Clark’s cratering chapter, was published as 2018 ended. Of course, because of Clark’s official retirement a couple of years ago, we travel to once-reimbursed scientific meetings on our own dime.

On the downside, Clark had emergency surgery in February for a critical-at-the-time but not medically serious issue, which resulted in a painful, longer-than-expected recovery, mitigated by Y’s loving care. And, in April, Y was bounced around by waves and undertow while snorkeling in Kauai, on the fringes of a major storm, and required minor knee surgery soon afterwards (her other knee, replaced a year earlier, has been doing great: we were able to ski at Breckenridge before the subsequent medical issues). The saddest thing this year for us was the unexpected death of our beloved manx feline, Rocko; he succumbed to anaesthesia during routine teeth cleaning. Of course, we also mourn the loss of some of our friends and colleagues, which is becoming somewhat frequent as we all become more vintage.

Clark had a delayed Father’s Day hike in the mountains with daughter, Ginette. Granddaughter Camille, now 4-and-a-half, is doing exceptionally well. At Rancho Europa, we had the first moose ever on our property: a large-antlered buck, a mother moose, and a young one walked in front of our barn (see picture). Y acquired a new MacBook Pro computer, which is nice and lightweight, but she continues to suffer from Steve Job’s legacy. Issues are reaching a climax on the would-be enlargement of nearby Gross Dam by Denver Water. It would become the highest dam in Colorado, the largest project ever in Boulder County, and squander precious water of the Colorado River. But fortunately the Boulder County Commissioners are holding firm, so far, and important environmental organizations are getting involved in lawsuits.

We hope for a miracle in 2019 that might help us escape from the horrible incompetence manifest in Washington D.C. and advance liberty for all. And we wish you and yours good health and great times for the new year of 2019!

Y & Clark,

Pictures from Y & Clark follow in chronological order through 2018: start here, scroll down, then scroll down left column, finally down right column.

Winter dawn at Rancho Europa

Waipoo Falls, Waimea Canyon, Kauai, after a heavy rain, April

50th reunion of M.I.T. Planetary Astronomy Lab (MITPAL)

Miniature owl (“Tweeto”) at Raptor Center, Sitka, Alaska, July

Alaskan rainbow, Inside Passage cruise

Alaskan waterfalls

Icebergs from LeConte Glacier, in bay near Petersburg, Alaska

LeConte Glacier front: southernmost tidewater glacier in North America

Flying over the glaciers

Sunset, Frederick Sound, Alaska Inside Passage, captured by Y from the deck of our ship

Face of South Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm, Alaska

In remembrance: Rocko’s cat trees, August

Rocko memorial

Y’s lighting designs on our upper driveway

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado, August

Y at North Rim of Black Canyon

Main Street, Telluride, during Telluride Film Festival, Labor Day weekend

Emma Stone at Telluride Film Festival

Clark at Upheaval Dome, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, September

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, with La Sal Mountains in the distance

Clark at a Canyonlands overlook

Driving down into Canyonlands towards Moab, Utah

Colorado River in Canyonlands

Y under North Window in Arches National Park

Clark & Y share a mimosa at brunch, Buena Vista, Colorado

Autumn colors viewed from chairlift up to Spruce Saddle, Beaver Creek, Colorado, September

Flying into Bora Bora: view of Intercontinental Resort over-water bungalows, October

Y and Clark being welcomed to our resort

Y exits our resort bungalow (Mt. Otemanu behind)

Lunch on the main island of Bora Bora

Angel fish near Bora Bora lagoon reef

Pacific reef heron and Mt. Otemanu

Moose in front of our barn at Rancho Europa, October

Sunsphere, Knoxville, TN, October

Clark joins other past Chairs of the Division for Planetary Sciences at 50th meeting, Knoxville

New flag at Rancho Europa, designed by Y, December

Suggestions for Visitors to Rancho Europa, including directions to our ranch, motels and other accommodations, restaurants, suggested activities in the area, recommended hikes from our ranch, and more distant trailheads reachable by car.