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Cherry Springs, PA

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#1 Daniel8802

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 02:20 PM

Hello Everyone!!

I'm looking at going to Cherry Springs for my first time this coming November during the Tuarid meteor shower. Since it will be in November, I do not believe that I can rent a cabin because most of the campgrounds are closed during this time.

If anyone has every been to cherry springs, where did you stay? It seems like lodging is sparse in that area (as I would imagine). The one descent place I've found so far is the Mill Stream Inn. If anyone has any suggestions that would be great!

Cherry Springs is 5 hours away from me so a good check list as well what to bring for a 4 day astronomy outing would be great; usually I am only at 4-8 hour star parties! Thanks in advanced :).

#2 stacpa17

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:32 PM

I have never been there in November though I am thinking of of it but I would recommend preparing for very cold weather. I go to the Black Forest Star party in September and it can be in the 30's overnight. I tent when I am there are so am not familiar with motels in the area and wouldn't want to leave my scope there without my presence. I would think 'self sufficient' in my preparing to go there though Galeton is around 12 miles away. Not much going on there in the daytime so bring entertainment. If you are going during a new moon there will probably be other people there in campers/tents. there is no food/showers in the area so you really have to pack well. There are showers in a campground 4 miles away but not sure if they are open in November. Did I say warm clothing, food, think survival!!

#3 stacpa17

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:39 PM

Wellsboro, PA seems like a nice town when I drive through it, though further east than Galeton there is more there. I don't think finding a hotel will be a problem.

#4 George N

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:54 AM

I've not stayed at any of the local places, only on the field. I've been there several times in mid October, and it was below freezing after midnight. In November one could even expect snow. At some point in the late fall the park closes down the water, but does stay open all winter. They ask you not to park or set up on the snowplowed roads on the observing field.

#5 paul

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 02:59 AM

You could rent an RV and park it right there..

#6 Daniel8802

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:45 AM

Oh wow, it seems pretty harsh up there. I thought it would be OK since it is early November. I am also renting one of the observatories now so hopefully that will help too.

#7 Daniel8802

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:04 AM

Does anyone have a checklist of what they bring with them to star parties? I'm trying to cover all of my basis early! Just ordered long johns haha ... I also booked a motorized observatory. Hopefully that will help cut down on the cold as well too!

#8 George N

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:31 AM

Oh wow, it seems pretty harsh up there. I thought it would be OK since it is early November. I am also renting one of the observatories now so hopefully that will help too.


That's why it's dark! ....nobody lives there 'cuz of the tough weather conditions! :smirk:

Actually, the weather can be just about *anything*, so you need to monitor what is happening just before you go, and 'be prepared'. I've seen Cherry Springs in the fall go from 'shorts and t-shirt' days to 'winter coat' nights, especially if clear..... so remember to bring your dew (frost) heater for your scope! ....and warm dry clothes for yourself. There will likely be a few folks on the field, but you may be there all by yourself, with poor to no cell phone coverage.

#9 Doc Willie

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 01:13 PM

I have stayed at the Mill Stream Inn. It is a very nice place with good service, and I would recommend it.

#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 03:20 PM

Ditto.

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#11 Daniel8802

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:24 AM

Did you stay in a cabin or the main hotel, I was thinking of a cabin. What were your rates like?

Also, what kind of dew blaster does everyone use? That is one thing that I do not have that I will need to purchase soon! :)

#12 _Z_

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

Stay at the Frosty Hollow B&B, maybe 10 minutes down the road from the park. It's closer than Mill Stream, much cozier, and the breakfast is incredible. You may be able to negotiate a lower rate since it's not crowded in November. You won't regret staying there.

http://www.frostyhollowbandb.com/

If you haven't been to many remote star parties this is going to be a tough start if you're not prepared. Average low in town early november is 30-33 degrees, but at the park I wouldn't be surprised to see 20's. Snow is absolutely possible.

My recommendations for staying warm:
Long johns - warmest and heaviest you can get
Many many layers. No cotton.
Winter boots, the warmer the better, and preferably with a good insole that'll insulate you from the cold ground/cement pad.
Heaviest jacket, gloves, 2 pairs of socks, and hat you have.
Hand warmers, in your boots, pants pockets, even your gloves can help you stay warm.
Warm beverages can be handy too.

It's better to be overprepared and able to get too warm, than frozen under the darkest skies you traveled so far to get to, but cant stand to be out observing.

You can't drive off the field at night, so park your car across the street before dark.

#13 stacpa17

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 02:37 PM

another option is to drive south 400 miles!!

#14 George N

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

..... Also, what kind of dew blaster does everyone use? That is one thing that I do not have that I will need to purchase soon! :)


In November we call it a "frost blaster"! :smirk:

....and if you don't have one, don't come to Cherry Springs, 'cuz you'll need it on 3 out of 4 nights. I've seen a goodly number of folks sitting under a wonderfully clear and dark sky at Cherry Springs, glumly looking at their dewed/frosted up telescope (and don't forget eyepieces, finder, etc also dew up).

As for recommendations: you'd be better off asking in the Equipment area, but I have two Kendrick units, plus a number of warmer straps. Back in June at Cherry Springs I found out how easy it is to short out one of these, so you do need to be careful using them. The 'gorilla astronomy' solution is to rubber-band hand warmer packets onto your equipment (not good for SCTs, but works for small refractors, eyepieces, Dob secondarys, finders, camera lenses), and then you can put them in your sleeping bag after observing to keep your toes warm! :cool:

#15 George N

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:19 AM

another option is to drive south 400 miles!!


He wants to observe stars, not hurricanes..... :smirk:

#16 TonyDralle

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:00 PM

You mention cabins and "the main hotel." Perhaps you are not aware that there are none of these at Cherry Springs State Park -- just a large observing field (with observatory domes which can be reserved). You either sleep in a tent, a camping vehicle, or at a motel/bed & breakfast, of which there are a few within 10-12 miles.

- Tony

#17 George N

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:17 PM

Is the road open from Galeton to CSSP (that goes past Lyman Run)?

#18 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:34 PM

According to Tony Donnangelo, who was observing at the park earlier this month, West Branch Road is not currently open.

#19 John Vogt

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 02:36 PM

I drove all of Branch Road last Friday on my way home and the road crew was paving the remaining .6 mi. of road that needed new asphalt. I think at this point the paving should be complete with only the guard rail left to install. In any event, it should be a pleasure to drive the entire length now.

John

#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:53 PM

CSSP regular Gary Honis recently posted an aerial video of the park shot from a remotely-controlled helicopter.

http://www.youtube.c...d&v=Vw-OGr0z_9I

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#21 George N

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:56 AM

CSSP regular Gary Honis recently posted an aerial video of the park shot from a remotely-controlled helicopter.

http://www.youtube.c...d&v=Vw-OGr0z_9I

Dave Mitsky


That's really neat!

For anyone who has not been to Cherry Springs, what is not shown in the video is: the CCC era log pavilion where the presentations are given during the 2 star parties, and the camping sites along the south edge of the old airfield. Both of these are under the trees.

#22 Daniel8802

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:15 PM

That was an awesome video and great tour of the park!! I'm hoping for a CME now when I get there to see the auroras. I've never really had a good view of them, so that's something to look forward to as well!

#23 Daniel8802

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:19 PM

Also, does anyone know what the power is like in observatories? How much can it draw and what kind of devices can I plug in? If I wanted to plug in my goto, an occasional hair dryer (dew build up) as well as a coffee pot perhaps would that over load the system?

#24 George N

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:48 PM

Also, does anyone know what the power is like in observatories? How much can it draw and what kind of devices can I plug in? If I wanted to plug in my goto, an occasional hair dryer (dew build up) as well as a coffee pot perhaps would that over load the system?


You better call the park and ask. You have to call to reserve one anyway. I've heard rumors that there are problems with one or more of the domes.

All of the AC on the field is suppose to be for astro gear only, but if you ask nice, they might agree to a coffee pot.

#25 Daniel8802

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:11 AM

I do have an observatory reserved already so no worries there. I sent them an email so we will say what they say. Maybe I can find a DC power coffee pot and plug it into a portable battery pack hah!






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