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Questions about Black Forest Star Party Sept 6-8

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#1 auriga

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:21 PM

Hi, all,
I am hoping to go to the BFSP at Cherry Springs this year for the first time, and I have some questions.

I have been to the BFSP web site but the questions are not answered there.

There is no phone number to call and no email address listed, so I can't make inquiries.

I have been to the web site of the local astronomy club that sponsors the BFSP to look at the names of the officers, but only the first name and the initial of the last name is given, so there is no way to phone or email them either.

I went to the Illinois Dark Sky Star Party last year and they were easy to reach and very helpful and it was a good experience, but I have a time conflict with that star party this year.

My questions about the BFSP include the following:

Which motels are closest (I need to stay in a motel for a variety of reasons, including health and not owning an RV or camper)?

I plan to drive the scope, a 16" onto the field in the daytime, and then drive the car off and park the car as nearby as possible. Then I plan to walk onto the observing field. When I finish observing at say 2:00 or 3:00 AM I will have to walk back to where I have parked the car off site, in the dark. Is this practical or are the walking distances too great ?

Will it be safe to leave the scope unattended overnight and the next morning?

It is impossible to tell anything about issues like these from the BFSP web site, so I would be grateful for any information about how to get in touch with the people sponsoring the star party.

Or to hear any information from anyone who has been there or who is going.

Many thanks,
Bill Meyers

#2 AsleepAtTheScope

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:12 PM

In the upper right corner of the web page is an envelope icon that sends email to <bfsp2013@bfsp.org>. Under the top banner is a row of selections including one titled "FOOD/LODGING/ATTRACTIONS". Click on that and a ways down the page there is a list of motels.

#3 auriga

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 11:30 PM

In the upper right corner of the web page is an envelope icon that sends email to <bfsp2013@bfsp.org>. Under the top banner is a row of selections including one titled "FOOD/LODGING/ATTRACTIONS". Click on that and a ways down the page there is a list of motels.


Thank you,
I had found the list of motels but no information about them.

The tiny email envelope was obviously an I.Q. test that I failed. It's obviously a star party for highly intelligent people but I plan to go anyway.

i have emailed them, thanks to your tip.

Bill

#4 TonyDralle

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:45 AM

I plan to drive the scope, a 16" onto the field in the daytime, and then drive the car off and park the car as nearby as possible. Then I plan to walk onto the observing field. When I finish observing at say 2:00 or 3:00 AM I will have to walk back to where I have parked the car off site, in the dark. Is this practical or are the walking distances too great ?

Will it be safe to leave the scope unattended overnight and the next morning?


I'm not a star party official -- just a frequent attendee at BFSP.

Yes, there is parking across the road from the observing field, and there you can come and go as you please throughout the night. Although of course it is very dark, with a red flashlight you should be able to find your way from where your scope is set up to that parking area. You might want to find a setup location fairly near the registration desk/entrance end of the field to reduce your walking distance, but even if you can't, the walk would not be very far (1/4 to 1/2 mile, at most, maybe, from the farthest end of the observing field).

Your scope should be perfectly safe. You would probably want to cover it against the possibility of a sudden shower and/or the heavy dew which is common at Cherry Springs. Also, you would probably want to take small items like eyepieces with you when you finish your observing session, as there are rare and unverified stories of such items "disappearing."

Have you considered sleeping in a tent at your setup location? Many attendees do. Then your car and scope are always right nearby. Be aware, though, that it can get cold (< 40°) overnight there in September.

- Tony

#5 star drop

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 09:32 AM

We have never had any problems but most of us don't leave the observing field. I have never seen anyone poking through other attendees equipment.

#6 auriga

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:20 AM

Thank you, this is very helpful. You have answered my questions exactly.. It looks like I will be able to take my 16" Dob.
Bill

#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 12:54 PM

The closest quality motel to CSSP is the Millstream Inn on the outskirts of Coudersport. It's 12.5 miles from the park.

http://www.millstreaminn.com/

Dave Mitsky

#8 auriga

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

Thanks David, this helps.
See you at BFSP
Bill

#9 derangedhermit

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 05:15 PM

The parking across the road is directly across from the gate where you enter the field. 1/2 mile is the most I can imagine walking to a car. 1/4 mile is probably possible every night, if you are there fairly early and can set up on the first half of the paths shown on the map (circles 1,3,5), you'll be fine. As far back as "Star Ave" is easy unless you have difficulty walking.

We have stayed at the Frosty Hollow B&B a couple times, run by Gail and Joe Ayers. Joe's breakfasts are popular, and there are repeat visitors from year to year at BFSP. If you like, or don't mind, rustic farmhouse style you may consider that. They have a web site.

It can be much harder to make lodging reservations than the BFSP reservation, depending on how many gas field crews are working in the area at the time.

We've always met family, and had two vehicles. One we kept parked by the telescopes, and we locked eyepiece cases, etc. in it before heading to the inn in the other one. We just covered the scopes from the weather. You might make a similar arrangement to lock small stuff up in a trunk if you have friends staying on the field so you need not carry it to the parking lot.

The permanent (nicer) restrooms are also near the entrance end of the field, as is the food and the vendors' area. The pavilion for presentations is off to one side of the field, but not particularly near the entrance. That is, if they still use the picnic pavillion for presentations. I see a "Galileo" amphitheater on the new map that I do not recall.

The RVer's usually set up on the roads on the far west side of the field.

Lee






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