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Goldendale Campout & Star Party, June 7 - 9, 2013

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#1 Spaced

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:31 PM

It's that time again, yes, that time!

This year it will be the weekend of June 7 -9, a full week earlier than last year; small bribe to moon paid big dividends. As always, don't feel restricted to those three days. You'll be welcome to arrive earlier or stay later. The Honey Bucket should be delivered and snatched the Wednesdays before and after, unless the vendor has changed its schedule.

Directions to the Property

The two main routes to the property are (1) over Snoqualmie Pass then south; and (2) up the lazy River from the Portland area, then north. From Seattle/Tacoma, Snoqualmie is somewhat faster, assuming no problem with the road. On the other hand, if it's warm and dry then a guy going east along the Columbia will probably get a helpful push from strong tail winds. Take your pick, name your tune.

Also, those going from Seattle/Tacoma LP-opolis should note: It's my habit when going to G/dale from home to check for traffic snafus. I once avoided a 3 hour backup over Snoqualmie with a last-minute check.

First the Snoqualmie directions.

• From Snoqualmie go through Ellensburg, then south through Yakima on I-82, then watch for signs to Hwy. 97 South and to Goldendale. You can leave I-82 in two places: around Union Gap and a bit farther south, going through Toppenish. Follow Hwy. 97 south over Satus Pass.

• Turn right (west) as you get to G/dale, on to West Broadway St. (“SR 142” – and Dairy Queen on corner). In a few blocks notice a grocery store on your left, for future supplies. They have good seafood (oysters!) on Saturdays. Travel exactly one mile from the highway, then turn left on South COLUMBUS Ave.

• Travel south on South Columbus Ave. exactly .41 miles, then turn right on West Railroad St.

• *** Turn left at the stop sign after 1/4 mi. or so.

• You will soon come to a "Y". Stay to the Left; this is where your road becomes Horseshoe Bend Road.

• There are a couple more “Y”s in the road. Always stay on Horseshoe Bend Road, which will mean keeping Right at the “Y”s.

• Notice a prominent and lonely stand of trees ahead of you and on the left of the road. Just after you crest a hill, just past the trees, turn left onto Pinto Drive. The turn is .5 - .6 mi. after the intersection with Erickson Rd. As you go through the gate look to your right across the swale and you’ll see camping activity, your destination. Pinto soon makes a 90* bend to the right and becomes Apaloosa Court. Just after the road crosses the drainage and starts up a hill, turn a hard right onto an “offroad” graded but unimproved drive, and follow it to the camping area.

And from the Portland area:

• Follow I-84 East from Portland, then go North on Hwy. 97 at the Biggs Junction, which is east of The Dalles. Follow signs to Goldendale.

• Turn left onto East Simcoe Drive as you approach Goldendale.

• Follow E. Simcoe Dr. to the T-intersection and turn right onto So. Columbus Ave.

• Go 4 or 5 blocks, passing a gas station on your right (usually cheapest gas in town,) then turn Left onto West Railroad St.

• Follow directions beginning at the *** above.


Coordinates

The coordinates (at mouth of Pinto Drive) are:
45* 47' 44.31" N
120* 57' 18.23" W.

Other Stuff

There are a couple of motels in G/dale for non-campers. History indicates about a 50/50 ratio of astronomers to people just out to enjoy a camping weekend with friends. There's much to see & do in the area, as subsequent discussion in this thread may illuminate.

Average total precipitation for June is .83”. The historic average highs & lows for June are 73* - 47*, and the records are 102* - 27*. Pack for a significant wind chill if the wind decides to blow, and believe me, the wind can really whip up! Plan your tents/awnings setups to survive in and provide shelter from the wind. In June dogs should be pre-treated for ticks. Typically, but not always (as we learned last year), the wind dies away at dusk.

Shopping and water in Goldendale, 15 min. away.

Plan for a Potluck Saturday, and doubtless there will be other group dining. The planning committee quashed a motion to forbid alcohol, on a point of order. Irish whiskey is always in order.

There is no water at the property, so carry in your own water. Please plan to pitch in something for the Honey Bucket; $5/person would be about right. Please, no open fires or charcoal BBQ’s (gas all right.) A neighbor sells what may be Washington's best eggs.

Non-astronomers will be warmly welcomed, but remember, the focus of nighttime activities will be astronomy. Please be prepared to use only red or red-covered lights, flashlights and headlamps after dark, inside and outside tents. Dark is the Night Queen. (If you don't have a red flashlight, pick up a roll of tail light repair tape at an auto parts store to cover your white light in several layers.)

If you plan to use a generator (other than wind or solar) please camp in the area near the observing pads 150 yd. away at the top of the hill.

I'd welcome posting of photos from prior events!

#2 Dragonwatcher

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:14 PM

"The planning committee quashed a motion to forbid alcohol, on a point of order. Irish whiskey is always in order."

I can't imagine who even proposed that motion. You sure it wasn't quashed on a point of a gun barrel?

#3 Spaced

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:42 PM

Nah, it was a gin barrel. Danged Brits. :p

#4 BradleyB

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:50 PM

Stayed late...arrived late too.

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#5 Spaced

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:57 PM

Man, that sky looks just yummy, Brad. :) Was that maybe July? In June it's all still green.

#6 DarkSkys

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:43 PM

I hope I can make it. Last year was a ton of fun.

#7 cliff mygatt

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:53 PM

I am planning on being there and looking forward to my first of many trips, my friends!

#8 Spaced

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

Welcome, Cliff!

#9 square_peg

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:36 PM

Woohoo! :whee:

#10 square_peg

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:39 PM

Google map centered on the observing field.

#11 Sky Captain

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:05 AM

Google map centered on the observing field.


Are those crop circles? :lol:

#12 Sky Captain

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:23 AM

The planning committee quashed a motion to forbid alcohol, on a point of order.


:question: Hmmm, wonder who picked that planning commitee?



Nah, it was a gin barrel.



Speaking of Gin...still got your bottle Mike. :)

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#13 Spaced

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

Does it make a really deep, resonant hoot when you blow across the top? ;) Thanks for saving it; I like strange and different musical instruments.

#14 SteveG

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:39 AM

I'm in!

#15 Spaced

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:43 AM

Will you be driving in or dropping in, Steve? (I'll gladly pick you up at the air field.) Will you be bringing a spare tent this year?

#16 MadHungarian

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

I think he should parachute in! That would be cool.

I might be there also, but that's very uncertain at this point.

#17 Spaced

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

I think he should parachute in! That would be cool.


Yeah! Naked! :scared: (Closely followed by a FedEx truck with all his gear. What a ham.)

I hope you can make it, Emery.

#18 BradleyB

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

That was on my way back from the OSP last year, so I think it was August.

#19 Sean Puett

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:57 PM

I am coming. I am going to take off Friday, Monday, or both. Maybe Thursday Friday. I will be sure by then. U am excited now that it is official with its own thread.

#20 Spaced

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:09 PM

I almost said August, Brad. It looks bone dry.

Major R & R, Sean!

Anyone care to post some pix (other than storm-wrecked equipment, that is?)

#21 Sky Captain

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:28 PM

Does it make a really deep, resonant hoot when you blow across the top?



Nope...not unless you drink it all and the bottle is empty.

This baby is full!

#22 Sky Captain

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:33 PM

Stayed late...arrived late too.



Yep, that was a very breif visit Brad. Glad we could at least say hi as we were leaving. Johnny and I wished we had stayed as the weather ended up being pretty good.

I almost said August, Brad. It looks bone dry.



Yep, that was the Aug. SP I hosted.

#23 Sky Captain

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:41 PM

Anyone care to post some pix (other than storm-wrecked equipment, that is?)


Hope it looks like this again!

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#24 Sky Captain

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:43 PM

Gratuitous equipment shot. :grin:

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#25 MadHungarian

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:28 AM

Part of the last August party.

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