Saturday, May 31, 2008

Packed to the rim

Saturday morning, 8:35 AM - I have never seen that CR-V packed so full of stuff. For a while, I was wondering I was going to have a leave a telescope and mount behind, but I managed to get it all in.

Here's a partial list of what I'm taking:

2 telescopes and mounts
Indoor-outdoor carpet to spread over the dusty west Texas dirt
Plastic tarps to cover the scopes during the daytime
Bungee cords to hold down the tarps
Observing chair
Reclining lawn chair
Canon Digital SLR
Canon Camcorder
Batteries, extension cords, chargers, tools
Bug repellent
Three accessory cases (eyepieces, finder scopes, Telrads, etc.)
Notebook computer

Plus clothing, toiletries, jackets, etc.

I'm leaving shortly. I'll stop in San Antonio for a brief visit to Mom, then off to Junction for an overnight stay in a Best Western.

The long range forecast looks good for the Star Party.

Universe, here I come.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Stars at night...

...Are going to be very big and bright next week at the Texas Star Party. I'll be attending this annual event for the very first time this year, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I'll be making the drive to the Prude Ranch starting Saturday, overnighting in Junction, then arriving on Sunday for registration, and coming back the following Sunday. Over six hundred amateur astronomers under some the of the darkest skies in the nation! I've been told that the proliferation of stars is so overwhelming that even experienced amateurs can find it hard to recognize familar constellations.

I'm going to try to take both my scopes, the 5" Astro-Physics refractor on the G-11 mount, and my Celestron 9.25" GPS that I got earlier this year. My poor CR-V is going to be filled to bursting.

I'll be in one of the motel rooms, sharing it with another amateur from the Houston area.

Wireless internet access is available at the Party, so I intend to blog about my adventures while I'm there. I've heard that when the Milky Way rises over the mountains, it's been mistaken for storm clouds. Now that I gotta see!