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Very cheap land in dark sky areas

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#26 Raginar

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:47 PM

I'd be more worried with security in Mexico given their political situation down there. Did you build a house, etc?

#27 BlueGrass

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

Also ... for those looking at land in remote or underdeveloped areas, do your homework with the county. Find out if there are exploratory or capped gas or oil wells. Find out who owns the mineral rights. Many oil companies own the rights or have the rights leased to them to the gas and oil on these lands. It would be a major letdown to find the 'perfect' spot only to have a natural gas well uncapped and production started.

and just as important, find out the access and right of way to the land. You may find a great 5 or 10 area plot as part of an undeveloped sale, but your access to it may be at the behest of the adjoining land owners. Much to consider when searching for that great dark site ...

#28 Tony Flanders

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:06 AM

I'd be more worried with security in Mexico given their political situation down there.


Mexico is a very big and very varied place. Not a lot of narco traffic in the mountains of mid-Baja, I'm sure.

#29 csrlice12

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

I'd be more worried with security in Mexico given their political situation down there.


Mexico is a very big and very varied place. Not a lot of narco traffic in the mountains of mid-Baja, I'm sure.


Hey, at least they have a functioning government....

#30 csa/montana

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

:shameonyou: Let's stay on topic, please.

#31 jrbarnett

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

Sold!

I see "BEER" on a sign.

:lol:

- Jim

#32 TL2101

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

I lucked out on the very cheap part my daughter and her husband own property in Avery Ca near New Melones Lake and my brother just purchased 2.5 acres near Lake Shasta. Now I can boat, fish and have a private dark site for astronomy and didn't cost me a cent. I just hope I don't over stay my welcome. :grin:

#33 Raginar

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

I was generalizing based on my limited knowledge of the geo-political situation and my knowledge of the Texas-Arizonia border? Is baja-California significantly better?

#34 mikewirths

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

Chris--- as Tony stated Mexico is a very large and varied country. Based on 5+ years of living here my Wife and I feel very secure. Besides we are so off the beaten track that I feel we are not any sort of target, but crimes happen in all countries so we have IR motion sensors on our road to tell us of any foot or car traffic. Baja California is very low on the spectrum of per capita violent crimes, especially once you go south of Tijuana. Also we get TSP dark skies coupled with sub arcsecond seeing a lot of the time!

#35 Tony Flanders

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:58 AM

I was generalizing based on my limited knowledge of the geo-political situation and my knowledge of the Texas-Arizonia border? Is baja-California significantly better?


Even a single state in Mexico -- Baja California -- is enormous. It stretches as far north-south as the distance from Chicago to New Orleans.

Northern Baja is in turmoil like everywhere else near the border. Far-southern Baja has been developed for tourists. In between are mountains, cactus, and peace.

#36 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:37 AM

Chris--- as Tony stated Mexico is a very large and varied country. Based on 5+ years of living here my Wife and I feel very secure. Besides we are so off the beaten track that I feel we are not any sort of target, but crimes happen in all countries so we have IR motion sensors on our road to tell us of any foot or car traffic. Baja California is very low on the spectrum of per capita violent crimes, especially once you go south of Tijuana. Also we get TSP dark skies coupled with sub arcsecond seeing a lot of the time!


Mike is up in the mountains on a road to nowhere. Baja is a long, narrow peninsula with a range of mountains running down the northern part. Mike is on the western slope of the San Pedro Martir's on a road that only goes further into the mountains but does not go over the mountains. Drug traffic is north-south...

We all should be envious of Mike and his hideaway, great seeing, dark skies... down south... One of these days I am going to visit Mike and his 30 inch Starmaster.

Baja Dark Skies Inn

Back on topic.. My wife and I bought 4 acres about 70 miles east of San Diego. It has about 1000 square feet of living space, a garage large enough to handle a few scopes, a well, electricity and a septic system... these are important amenities. The skies are reasonably dark and it's a little more than an hours drive... And for security, we have our neighbor Rollie who keeps a careful eye on the place.

After searching for the ideal dark site, we decided a long trip would be impractical and maintaining the property would be a hassle. This property is practical.

For truly dark sky observing, we have an older motor home... we take the amenities with us, we are going to have to drive any place worth going to so might as well drive a motor home... With a motorhome we pay more for gas but the hassle of owning a distant piece of property, security, none of that. We have been some amazing places...

Jon

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#37 Skooter

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:46 AM

Would love to buy a few acres in northern AZ. Prices are quite reasonable. What's intimidating are the costs after purchase, such as insurance, fencing and security. And since we can't leave TN yet for anything more than a week or two per year, I'm afraid it'll have to remain just a dream for now. :(

#38 wky46

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:01 AM

Jon's got the right idea using a mobile home. My wife and I live on a 50 acre farm in a green zone. I get some awefully nice, dark views several degrees east and west of zenith but that makes me only yearn for more. Getting a camper or mobile home and visiting dark sites throughout the US has been our dream for 20 yrs. (ok, the 'dark' part of it is my idea :smirk:)..... Phil

#39 Kfrank

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

Would love to buy a few acres in northern AZ. Prices are quite reasonable. What's intimidating are the costs after purchase, such as insurance, fencing and security. And since we can't leave TN yet for anything more than a week or two per year, I'm afraid it'll have to remain just a dream for now. :(


Be aware, though, that Northern AZ gets seriously cold in winter. Good skies but if you're expecting warm winters, look elsewhere.

#40 Skooter

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

True. We're thinking Kingman area (at a lower elevation)might be the best compromise for an actual place to live in semi-retirement...and still within an hour or two of truely dark skies, solitude, favorable weather, and wide open spaces.

#41 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

True. We're thinking Kingman area (at a lower elevation)might be the best compromise for an actual place to live in semi-retirement...and still within an hour or two of truely dark skies, solitude, favorable weather, and wide open spaces.


Kingman is pretty nice but it does get quite windy and it is a good sized city. Silver City, New Mexico is pretty sweet. It gets cold, it gets warm but it is very often clear and dark skies are not far at all. It's very similar to Prescott and Flagstaff in terms of altitude but as of yet, it has not been discovered.

Jon

#42 tedbnh

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

Have you looked into the Granite Gap development south of Lordsburg, NM? If you are in a hurry it might not be the place for you (my observatory has been a slab of concrete for more than a year) but you could not ask for a better community of fellow observers, upwards of 50 now. Progress is being made. (Disclosure - I have a standard lease on 1/4 acre and an observatory under construction at GG.) There's a yahoo group called GraniteGap for more information. Great skies and nice people. I like the vibe. I've visited 3 times and am storing my 18.5" Starmaster out there until my observatory is complete. Last February's week of observing was the best of my life, although it's a bit of a hike from New Hampshire. :-) Glad to answer any questions offline.

#43 Mr. Bill

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

I bought the GG 6 month RV site 99 year lease and 1/4 acre for a future observatory with the option to make it a 12 month RV site lease and put a permanent trailer. This would have electrical, water, sewage, and internet hookups.

Seems like a great value for the money, solves the security issues, has light restrictions in place, and lots of potential for an astronomy community.

:cool:

#44 HellsKitchen

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:23 AM

I just happened to jump on the real estate websites today and found a land that costs barely more than my SDM!

There is a 1720 sq meter property going for $4800 in a remote NSW town called Nymagee. This town has a population of 103, and lookng on Google Earth, there is all of 20 buildings along the main street. The next biggest town, Cobar (population 5200) is 75km away as the crow flies. The place is accessible from Melbourne by paved roads so no worries about bouncing along washboard dirt. The skies here cannot be anything but full on black zone. Straight line distance to Sydney is 500km and to Melbourne 660km.

It is a long drive, but not out of the realms of a weekend. If anything, the remoteness means you can floor it without having to worry about cops :D

#45 FJA

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:34 AM

I just happened to jump on the real estate websites today and found a land that costs barely more than my SDM!

There is a 1720 sq meter property going for $4800 in a remote NSW town called Nymagee. This town has a population of 103, and lookng on Google Earth, there is all of 20 buildings along the main street. The next biggest town, Cobar (population 5200) is 75km away as the crow flies. The place is accessible from Melbourne by paved roads so no worries about bouncing along washboard dirt. The skies here cannot be anything but full on black zone. Straight line distance to Sydney is 500km and to Melbourne 660km.

It is a long drive, but not out of the realms of a weekend. If anything, the remoteness means you can floor it without having to worry about cops :D


Good luck with it if you decide to do it! I wish I could do that and, if I ever win a large sum of dosh on the lottery I am buying land in a remote, arid area and moving away from here! Win the lottery and I AM GONE FROM HERE! :step:

#46 HellsKitchen

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:50 AM

Thanks Faith! For that price, I am darn well tempted, this lot is 75km from the nearest population center of Cobar which is only 5200, the nearest 10,000+ town is Dubbo (33,000), 215km away. The skies here cannot be anything than pure black zone. Looking up the weather data for the nearest station ( Cobar), mean rainfall is 349mm (14"), mean no of rain days (>0.2mm) is 67.3, mean number of clear days 158.9 and average annual sunshine hours is 9.0 per day.

#47 Tony Flanders

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:12 PM

I just happened to jump on the real estate websites today and found a land that costs barely more than my SDM!

There is a 1720 sq meter property going for $4800 in a remote NSW town called Nymagee. This town has a population of 103, and lookng on Google Earth, there is all of 20 buildings along the main street.


1720 square meters is minuscule; it means that your nearest neighbors could be just 30 meters away. If your neighbors on both sides have bright porch lights, being in the black zone won't help you one little bit.

However, it should also be easy to find a good spot not too far from town where you don't have to worry about nearby lights.

#48 Ed Wiley

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:50 PM

I went in the opposite direction and have an observatory in my backyard under (at best) mag 4ish skies. I simply pick projects that I can do, imaging and measuring variable stars and double stars. No end to the projects that do not depend on really dark skies, even including spectrometry if I wished. This puts me in the observatory in 5 minutes anytime I wish when skies are clear.

But, I do love dark skies, and am lucky to belong to a club with a dark sky site (ASKC) about 60 miles south of Kansas City. And I am a regular attendee of the TSP and Okie-Tex. Between the ASKC site and two star parties I get all the dark sky experience I need each year without pain or desire of ownership.

Ed

#49 GeneT

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:33 PM

Why sweat over finding ideal public sites when I can have my own private land for peanuts, in a dry arid location to boot


This was once my dream. Doubt now that I will ever have a truly dark site.

#50 bunyon

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 08:20 AM

I just want to echo Tony's comments. Buying land in a town seems a really bad way to get dark skies. 103 people can make a lot of light if they put their mind to it. If there aren't local light ordinances (against a lot of light, not for a lot of light), I would not buy land in a small town with the hope of observing from there. If you just want to live closer to dark skies but not completely isolated, then, sure, it might be a nice little village to move to.

I grew up in a town of about 800 and in the 70s, it was fairly dark. I've been back in the last few years and town is not, by any means, dark. It's obviously darker than the city of 200K I live in now but local lights are bad and there are a couple of businesses with all-night lighting. 15 miles out of town, over the hill, is excellent. But in town would not be a good place to move for observing.






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