Saunter through the solar system

by Sami Everhart | Aug 30, 2019

Who is able to say they stood 4 inches from Mars? Or that they walked from Earth to the Sun in less than two minutes? Well, at Chelan Riverwalk Park you can say just that!

Let your curiosity soar as you discover more about the Milky Way. The PUD welcomes a scale model of our solar system from the Chelan Rotary Club to the Chelan Riverwalk Park.

Chelan RiverWalk Planet Walk 2019 003Be the Curiosity Rover and explore

With facts about planet sizes, the length of a day/year, and even its moon, it’s hard to believe that there is more –but there is. Each sign has a QR code that takes you to a website for a deeper dive into the facts.

I took a little spin through the solar system with Chelan PUD Parks Superintendent Kyle Endelman. He shared some insider secrets - not only about the scale model - but about the best times to come for a stroll.

“Memorial Day and Labor Day are very busy. Coming during the week or in the off-season is always prime time for locals and others to relax and enjoy the park,” Endelman said. “We even plow the trails in the winter.”

Orbiting past the planets

The set of signs includes all the planets in our solar system, plus some dwarf planets like Ceres, and everyone’s favorite, Pluto.

Starting with the Sun on Woodin Ave. and ending just off the Reach 1 Trail parking lot with Pluto, it’s a wonderful journey from water to grass to sage. With easy access to most of the signs, it’s a great activity for a school trip, or if you’re just hoping for a little cosmic bliss.

Blasting off and ready for landing

The idea for the scale model solar system came from Chelan Rotarian Russ Jones, who thought the signs would be a good distraction from the daily grind.

“[The signs] make a great addition to the park because it is a free family activity that gives perspective on the vastness of our universe,” Jones said. “If someone’s having a bad day, taking a walk by the signs can help people see the big picture.”

The project blasted off in the spring and landed this summer, covering just over a mile.

Next time you’re at Chelan Riverwalk Park, don’t rush at the speed of light, but cruise through and explore the uncharted terrain of the planets in the Milky Way.

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