Jump to content


Photo

Grand Canyon Caverns Star Party

  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:22 PM

The High Desert Astronomy Club invites all interested parties to attend our first annual Grand Canyon Caverns star party on April 25th, 26th, and 27th 2014.

We will have Samantha Thompson from Lowell Observatory giving us a presentation on Saturday, the 26th at 4:30pm.

There are camping spots and motel rooms available at a reduced rate. Please call them at 928-422-3223 for your reservations. Be sure to mention you are part of the High Desert Astronomy Club. The caverns website is http://www.gccaverns.com to see what there is to do during the daylight hours. Grand Canyon Caverns is located on historic Rt. 66 63 miles NE of Kingman, Az. at mile marker 115.

The elevation of the caverns is approximately 5400 ft. and the GPS coordinates are: Lat. 35.53, Long. 113.23.

We hope to see you there to enjoy the dark skies with us!

For more information please contact David Hicks at icstars53@yahoo.com or Chris Patrick at radial195@yahoo.com.

#2 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 28 January 2014 - 07:13 PM

Is there any registration fees or just reserve a camp site and show up ? Will the camp ground lights be turned out ? I have been to the Caverns before and the skies are pretty dark

Ken Sikes

#3 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:57 PM

No registration fees, just reserve a campsite or motel room, your only expenses should be fuel to get there, lodging, meals, and any entertainment you want. Only lights in the campground area are in front of the bathrooms/showers. They will either be turned off or dim and red. We have not reserved the entire campground so there might be travelers showing up, although we don't expect very many because kids are still in school, it's not a long weekend, and I don't think there is much going on elsewhere to cause people to travel.

There might be some high school kids showing up but we will have them park in the restaurant/caverns parking lot away from the scopes and walk to the viewing field.

If this star party is well attended we plan on reserving the entire campground in the future to alleviate any transient traffic.

Chris Patrick

#4 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:57 PM

At this point which campsite numbers are reserved

Ken Sikes

#5 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:03 PM

As a club we have not reserved any campsites. We are hoping to stay in sites 15 through 40. We don't have enough club members to fill all those sites so anyone planning on attending can have their pick. The caverns management has told us they have never filled up so unless everybody that has looked at this post shows up there should be plenty of sites available. I will be going to the caverns this weekend to talk with them and make sure everything is arranged. You need to call the caverns at the number above for reservations.

Thanks for your interest!
Chris

#6 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 09 February 2014 - 11:12 AM

Are you going to have any type of sign-up sheet to know how many are planning to attend ? I am planning on attending myself and have posted a message on the East Valley Astronomy Club news list. I will also post a note on the Az Observing List

Ken Sikes

#7 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:17 PM

Our club President, David Hicks, is supposed to have posted a note to the Az Observing List. I don't know if he has. So far you are the only person to commit to attending. If anyone else wishes to attend they can email me with their intentions. Again this is open to anyone that wants to come.

Some of our club members will be staying in the motel, some will be camping. I am going to the caverns tomorrow to make sure all is working to plan.

#8 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:10 PM

Just got back from the caverns making sure all is well with them for the party. There have been a few reservations made already for the motel and for the campground. I made my reservation for an RV site today. Laura Frederickson, 928-422-4565, is the person to talk to for campground reservations. The main office, 928-422-3223, is the number for motel reservations. So far everything is going well! Looking forward to meeting all of you in April!

#9 John Rhodes

John Rhodes

    Vendor (Televue Rep)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 789
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Torrance, CA.

Posted 13 February 2014 - 04:49 PM

Thank You,
For allowing Tele Vue Optics ( Astrodemos ) to attend your star party I made reservations for Fri. & Sat. for an RV site.

Please feel free to come by the " booth " and borrow an eyepiece with a drivers license or a Paracorr, Powermate DioptrX

I'll have several Tele Vue telescopes set up for attendees to use or attach your DSLR to the tracking Tele Vue NP 127is (F/5.2 ) ? ? ?

Attached Files



#10 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:04 PM

Hi John,

Look forward to seeing you at the Grand Canyon Caverns star party. I also have made reservations. Are you going to attend the All Arizona Messier Marathon next month at the Hovatter Airstrip ?

#11 John Rhodes

John Rhodes

    Vendor (Televue Rep)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 789
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Torrance, CA.

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:44 PM

Hi John,

Look forward to seeing you at the Grand Canyon Caverns star party. I also have made reservations. Are you going to attend the All Arizona Messier Marathon next month at the Hovatter Airstrip ?


Absolutely with my " Help Her " Kathy....

Look for the "booth " above that was AAMM 2012

#12 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:04 PM

How is the planning going for the star party next month. Are there any major lights at the RV park ?

#13 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:49 AM

Hi Ken, The only light in the RV park is in front of the bathrooms/showers so campers can find it in the dark. We will be either unscrewing the lamp or wrapping it with red film. Everything is still "GO" on the party! The Astronomer (Samantha) from Lowell has confirmed she will be there. She is bringing one of her co-workers to assist.

The club has decided to host a Saturday night potluck after the presentation by Samantha. You can plan to attend the potluck, you can eat in the restaurant, or you can eat in your camp as you prefer.

I had planned on attending the All Arizona Messier Marathon this coming weekend but my truck is having the transmission rebuilt (for the 4th time! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!)

Maybe I'll just drive the car down and visit with everybody for a little while!

Chris

#14 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:53 PM

HI Chris,

I will also be at the AAMM this weekend. I generally setup near the intersection of the north-south, east west cross. I will be bringing my 16" Lightbridge this year and look forward to seeing you.
Ken

#15 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

Getting my truck back today! Yippee!! I'll be there possibly tomorrow afternoon. Look for a faded red Ford crew cab pulling a toyhauler. Have no idea where I'll park.

#16 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 10 April 2014 - 10:02 AM

Latest update:

Last month the caverns scheduled their first rodeo of the season for the same weekend as our star party. I have talked with the General Manager of the caverns and have been assured we should have no problems---the rodeo grounds are approximately 1/4 mile to the North of the campground and on the other side of a small hill, there are no stadium style lights at the rodeo grounds so the rodeo is over before dark (I know both of these statements to be true), a few of the cowboys have made reservations at the motel but so far none for the campground (as of Tuesday, April 8, 11:00 AM), most of the cowboys will go home at night. This post is in the interest of full disclosure so you can make an informed decision on attendance.

The Caverns is a small business and I understand them scheduling events in order to help their bottom line. If I was in business I would do the same thing. As a small club we do not have the resources (yet) to reserve the entire campground to insure the integrity of the dark skies available at the site. For the future we will probably move the date of this star party to the fall (after the rodeo season).

The bottom line is: THE PARTY IS STILL ON! COME JOIN US FOR SOME OF THE DARKEST SKIES IN ARIZONA!

#17 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:10 PM

Hey,
All the more to do during the day...watch the rodeo

Ken

#18 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 10 April 2014 - 10:47 PM

C U there, Ken!

Chris

#19 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

The caverns now have a clear skies chart.

Chris

#20 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:41 PM

Well the forecast for the star party does not look very promising so I am re-thinking about going. To drive 200+ miles and sit under clouds or in rain is not what I want to do. I will decide on Wednesday as to whether I will attend or not.

Ken Sikes

#21 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:36 PM

Yea, I looked at the forecast as well---windy, cloudy, cooler. BUT, there's still time for the weather gurus to be wrong! I'll be there either way the weather goes.

Chris

#22 KenSikes

KenSikes

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2010

Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:44 PM

Well Wednesday is here and the forecast just does not look good.....so I am going to have to pass on attending this weekend. Maybe next time.
Ken Sikes

#23 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 8697
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:06 AM

:question:

how is the star party-looks like an interesting option for next year

edj

#24 radial195

radial195

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012

Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:43 AM

Here's the report on the Caverns star party!!!

4/24/14
14:30; Wife and got to the caverns Thursday afternoon, light breeze, mid 70's, jet contrails about 1 degree behind jet.
15:00; John Rhodes (Televue Rep) arrives and sets up camp.
17:30; Windy now from West, multiple jet contrails from various directions all going from horizon to horizon.
No observing!

4/25/14
06:00; Very windy, cold.
10:00; Western horizon line of clouds visible, moving fast.
17:00; Mostly cloudy, still windy, cold.
21:00; Completely overcast but brighter stars barely visible.
No observing!!

4/26/14
06:00; Very windy, very cold, raining.
08:00; 1" of snow on ground.
08:00/10:00; Snowing, hailing, sleeting, raining, cold, windy.
12:00; Snow melted, cold, windy, overcast, nasty, muddy.
15:00; Not muddy anymore, cold, windy, overcast.
19:00; Trailing line of clouds visible on Western horizon, broken clouds visible behind trailing edge of front.
21:00/23:59; Broken clouds, cold, windy, John Rhodes (Televue Rep) taking pictures of sunset and small light dome reflecting off bottom of clouds, pictures to follow when John PM's them to me.
No observing!!!

4/27/14
06:00; Mostly sunny, cold, windy.
11:00; Decision made to break camp and go home.

Although there was no observing done due to weather a good time was had by all. We had a small turnout (17(?) people) and couple of drive-bys. The caverns restaurant provided a welcome shelter from the wind, a place to socialize, good meals for those who wanted something to eat, and friendly employees.

We'll do it again!

#25 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 8697
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 28 April 2014 - 11:07 AM

any plans to try again next year?

this would be a nice stop for a longer trip to AZ

edj






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics