[Chaos-l] CHAOS trip in March?
mhrivnak at hrivnak.org
Wed Feb 4 16:12:33 EST 2009
Thanks for all of the info. I would be up for a trip out there some time to
check it out.
Perhaps this will depend a lot on how much interest there is from folks. If
it's just Robert and I camping most nights, we could share an electrified camp
site and let others secure their own accommodations as they come and go. They
claim to have room for two tents at each campsite, although I'm not sure if
they have Robert's monstrositent in mind.
If lots of people want to come, then we can get a group site and have a fun
Anyway, if it's not practical to camp in view of the scopes, we have more
freedom to camp wherever we want. I'll start keeping my eye out for an
opportunity to drive out there.
On Wednesday 04 February 2009 14:28:55 Robert Nielsen wrote:
> Michael Hrivnak wrote:
> > ... would the best scope location be obtained by going with
> > individual campsites or a group one?
> That's the interesting question. Depending on a couple of factors, we
> might decide to use the main field or a smaller field near the group
> campsite. The factors (as I see them) are (1) how close do you want to
> be to your scope all the time, and (2) is there any light pollution from
> the bathhouse near the group campsite that will bother us. There is
> also the question of electricity (needed to recharge batteries ... at
> least in my case), but I can see a way to solve that problem. And I
> guess there is cost. So let me explain the pros and cons of each.
> Distance From Your Scope
> The best field for observing is the large one (the one on the left when
> you turn into the park and drive all the way to the picnic pavilion).
> It has the most open sky, and any sources of light pollution (the
> restrooms and possible campfire) are way down at the end of the field.
> During the summer, depending on when darkness arrives, the people
> leaving after hiking or visiting the pavilion may bother us with their
> headlights, but the park will close at 8PM or 9PM ... so that problem is
> limited. But it is away from where someone would camp. During the
> night, when the gate is locked .. probably not a problem. During the
> day, when the park is open, there could be people who come by. In my
> particular case, if I put the raincover on the scope, it looks like a
> sculpture and I'm not sure anyone would mess with it. They might. They
> would have to work at actually *stealing* it (it weighs, all together,
> 244 pounds), but they might vandalize it. But given the choice of
> tearing it down and setting it back up ... I would probably leave it
> setup for three or four days in the field. I hope the rangers wouldn't
> Others might not feel as comfortable. There are woods between the
> campsites and this large field, which is a blessing in one respect - it
> limits the light pollution from the camping trailers and lanterns and
> fires at the campsites. But it also means you cannot see the scopes
> from your campsite. Perhaps we could have someone continually "out on
> the field" with the scopes ... I don't know.
> The group campsites are next to a small field that is right next to the
> campsites themselves. So that field is closer, and may afford some
> security, although it is near other group campsites ... and more
> importantly, the restroom building for the group campsites is right at
> the end of that small field. If there were security lights on the
> building, they would likely be a problem for observing. If it was only
> us there, we could turn them off. But if there are any other groups, I
> can see people wanting the lights on. Also, this smaller field does
> have less sky visible ... although when I looked it was pretty good.
> Light Pollution
> Like I said, light pollution on the main field, after the gate has been
> closed, should be minimal. In fact, the lack of light pollution is what
> causes me to go to Medoc Mountain to observe ... very, very nice. I
> guess there could be a couple of people who want to go trail hiking at
> night, but we could tell them to keep their flashlights pointed away
> from us. Restroom or campfire light is not a problem (unless you visit
> Light pollution on the small field near the group campsites might be a
> problem ... either from the restroom building or from other groups with
> their campfires or lanterns. I don't know yet. The group campsites
> are closed until March 15th ... and until they are open, I don't know
> what the lighting situation is back there. Since they don't open
> until the week or so before we get there, one of us might need to take a
> trip over to check out the situation before the mini star party ..
> There is no electricity on the main field where we've been observing.
> But if we are going to stay there a few days, I'm going to need to have
> some capability of recharging my batteries. One perfect answer is
> "renting" a non-group campsite with electricity. If I was going over
> there, and we didn't use the group campsites, then one or two of us
> could get one of the "electrified" campsites, and everyone could charge
> their batteries there. There is also no electricity in the group
> campsites. So if we use the group sites, we still might need to get an
> "electrified" single site for the power.
> Another possibility, but I need to ask the rangers about this, is to
> find somewhere (like in the picnic pavilion) where electricity exists,
> and then use that to recharge batteries. I think as we become more and
> more familiar to the rangers in the park, they might let us do this.
> Depending on how many people go for how many nights, the group campsite
> is cheaper than multiple individual sites. The group site is $40/day,
> the individual sites are $15 (unless there are some senior citizens who
> would like to go ... they are $10/day for you). The "electrified"
> sites are $20/day. So do the math. There is a maximum of 35 people
> to a group campsite, so if we did have 35 people who would want to go
> (what a glorious thought!) then obviously we would want the group site.
> But with everyone's daily lives causing conflicts, it might be cheaper
> to go individually.
> So ... there is an explanation of the situation. Don't get me wrong
> ... I think Medoc Mountain State Park would be great for our mini star
> party. We just need to work out, to everyone's satisfaction, the best
> arrangements. And it might take us a couple of times to get it
> "perfect". Unless you are at a dedicated astronomy site, there are
> always going to be things that need to be worked out.
> Chaos-l mailing list
> Chaos-l at rtpnet.org
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