Jump to content


Photo

Almost Heaven Star Party 2014

  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#1 RChrisLee

RChrisLee

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2010

Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:08 AM

Registration is now live for AHSP 2014 at TMI, Spruce Knob, WV - 22-26 August 2014. This year marks AHSP's 10th Anniversary and we look forward to having another fabulous star party this year.

Please come join us at one of the darkest sites east of the Mississippi!

AHSP 2014 for registration and more information.

Chris Lee
AHSP Co-Chair
VP of NOVAC

#2 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3351
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:05 PM

Signed up!

Have not been in several years so thought I would go back. No imaging this time, going visual only. Should make for a very relaxing time.

Dean

#3 RChrisLee

RChrisLee

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2010

Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:19 AM

Great! We look forward to seeing you there. The images on your site are outstanding!

#4 Seanem44

Seanem44

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Woodbridge, VA

Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:12 AM

Already signed up! Can't wait. Hope to stay the entire time this year. The past three years have only been one night. Last year was the last night, which was sadly a complete bust. Might go up in July for a dry run as I have new imaging gear.

#5 RChrisLee

RChrisLee

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2010

Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:53 AM

If anyone would like to read a review from last year and see what we are all about you can see Uncle Rod's review from AHSP 2013 - Uncle Rod's blog post on AHSP 2013

And yes Uncle Rod will be attending and speaking again this year! :cool:

Best,

Chris

#6 dc_robert

dc_robert

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 247
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Washington, DC

Posted 07 May 2014 - 12:28 PM

I have many fond memories of my first-ever trip to AHSP last year. The radio-astronomy tour was really cool and highly recommended.

Old AHSP hands already know, but newcomers should come prepared with serious anti-dew equipment (of which I had none at the time). For reasons better explained by the experts, Spruce Knob sits in a pretty bad area of the country for humidity, particularly in August and September.

Enjoy your trip to AHSP! May it be the best yet!

#7 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3351
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 07 May 2014 - 12:29 PM

Been known to rain and be breezy at times too ;)

#8 RChrisLee

RChrisLee

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2010

Posted 08 May 2014 - 12:52 PM

There's a reason we gave away Kestrel's as prizes in the past! And it's not every day that you can say you were at the highest point of WV when a band of wind and rain from a hurricane hits you from the backside! (2 or 3 years ago now) :ooo:

Chris

#9 josh smith

josh smith

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1611
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2013
  • Loc: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:20 PM

I remember that night well. :) I woke up to my tent slapping my backside repeatedly. It was the windiest conditions I've been in except for actual hurricanes in Fl. There were also some amazing skies in the clear nights!

#10 miamichillin99

miamichillin99

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2014

Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:26 AM

I am interested in going with my kids. They are 4 and 8. They have been camping on a couple of occasions but to camp sites that appear to have more amenities. This would definitely be more rustic. Do many other young kids attend this event? How cold does it get at night? Being that 5 days is a lot can I share/split my reservation with another group?

#11 Seanem44

Seanem44

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Woodbridge, VA

Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:37 AM

I am interested in going with my kids. They are 4 and 8. They have been camping on a couple of occasions but to camp sites that appear to have more amenities. This would definitely be more rustic. Do many other young kids attend this event? How cold does it get at night? Being that 5 days is a lot can I share/split my reservation with another group?


Kids do come. It is encouraged. However, make sure you go over light and noise discipline with them in advance. There have indeed been incidents in which both have been broken by youth. Though patient and understanding I and others are, some are not so :) I would recommend one of the camping sites that allows you to stay with your vehicle (not the red parking site). That way, you have some form of amenity near you.
It can indeed get rather cold at night. I have a sleeping bag rated to -20*, and despite that, I have awoken shivering. The temperature in years past has even made it into the 40s I believe. expect the 50s, with a lot of dew and dampness. Be prepared for the possibility of rain as well.
This is a wonderful opportunity for any child, and it will grow their appreciation for astronomy.

#12 miamichillin99

miamichillin99

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2014

Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:15 PM

I am interested in going with my kids. They are 4 and 8. They have been camping on a couple of occasions but to camp sites that appear to have more amenities. This would definitely be more rustic. Do many other young kids attend this event? How cold does it get at night? Being that 5 days is a lot can I share/split my reservation with another group?


Kids do come. It is encouraged. However, make sure you go over light and noise discipline with them in advance. There have indeed been incidents in which both have been broken by youth. Though patient and understanding I and others are, some are not so :) I would recommend one of the camping sites that allows you to stay with your vehicle (not the red parking site). That way, you have some form of amenity near you.
It can indeed get rather cold at night. I have a sleeping bag rated to -20*, and despite that, I have awoken shivering. The temperature in years past has even made it into the 40s I believe. expect the 50s, with a lot of dew and dampness. Be prepared for the possibility of rain as well.
This is a wonderful opportunity for any child, and it will grow their appreciation for astronomy.


Thanks for your honest advice.

#13 Seanem44

Seanem44

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Woodbridge, VA

Posted 10 July 2014 - 05:41 AM

Not a problem.

And the daytime activities are fun as well. In fact, the kids might like them more, like Cass Railroad. The food served is very good, and there are showers. Though these are a little walk from the camp site, but not too bad. Out on the camp site though, you will have porter potties. By no stretch are your roughing it, but it definitely is camping. I would suggest maybe do a few days with the kids, as opposed to the entire time like you mentioned. They'll probably conk out at some point early in the night leaving you plenty of time to observe ;)

#14 RChrisLee

RChrisLee

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2010

Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:21 PM

There are around 20 kids registered at the moment for the event (12 and under). Everything that has been said in this thread are true about what to prepare for and expect.

My 11 and 13 year old boys are coming up for Saturday and Sunday nights and we are doing the railroad tour together for the first time. I did bring them to TMI one other time last year in July just so I could see how they liked it.

I hear that we are preparing to have individual goodie bags for each kids that is registered as well! Last year we launched rockets as well.

Basically this event can be great for kids but each of us as parents know what the limitations can be for our own.

Registration is getting close to full and only red lot is left at this point. Hope to see you all there and with your kids!

Best,

Chris

#15 Seanem44

Seanem44

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Woodbridge, VA

Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:27 PM

I'll be up at Spruce Knob during July's new moon, either Fri or Sat night depending on which looks to have the best weather, if anyone will be up there. Doing a dry run with new equipment.

#16 Glen A W

Glen A W

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1024
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2008
  • Loc: USA

Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:03 AM

The main problem up there is the wind. And the storms... I was there about eight years ago to observe at Gatewood group and it was quite exciting, I will say that for it! I think it must blow about 30mph at all times up there. It is a charming area and a wonderful, spiritual place to visit. Glen

#17 RChrisLee

RChrisLee

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2010

Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:56 AM

We are getting close to being sold out, if you are on the fence about coming to AHSP 2014 now is the time to register!

We have Uncle Rod, Bob Naeye, Greg Redfern, Dr Harold Geller, Bob Parks just to name a few coming to speak.

It's going to be a great event this year!

www.ahsp.org

Best,

Chris

#18 Lentini

Lentini

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 54
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2012

Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:59 PM

Signed up... My first serious Star Party.  Hope my anti-dew setup is up for the task.  Is there a nearby town for food runs?  I only signed up for two days of meals.  Camping and astronomy combined... Hope I can fit everything in my car!  Nervous about no cellular service, but thinking that may be a feature I end up appreciating.



#19 demiles

demiles

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 555
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2006

Posted 07 August 2014 - 06:46 AM

If you have Verizon service it is possible to get a phone signal up at TMI, I've used it several times while camping there.  There is a spot on the entrance road where you can get a signal, PM me and I will tell you exactly where. I don't know if services other than Verizon will work.



#20 Seanem44

Seanem44

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Woodbridge, VA

Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:41 AM

Ahhhh.  The dreaded addiction to cell phones!  I take it as a blessing they don't work. 

 

Your best bet is to head towards the Yurts and use your cellphones internet connection.  That's what I have done to communicate with my wife in the past when she couldn't make the trip.

 

Connection is sporadic.  I have had it with my ATT cell phone.  But there is no telling when you will have connectivity, and its gone just as quick.



#21 demiles

demiles

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 555
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2006

Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:53 AM

For those who haven't been up to The Mountain Institute here's some info that might make the trip a little better. The skies are great but it's thee most Dobsonian unfriendly observing site I've ever been to. Why? first the grass is not like the stuff in your back yard, it highland grass that's extremely thick and dense. They don't cut it down very low either so it interferes with the AZ motion. Second, the only flat spot on the observing field is the imaging circle. Its a spot may be 10-12 ft across, my avatar pic is me and my dob inside of it. Everyone wants to use it so don't even think you'll be able to setup there. Do yourself a favor and stop by HomeDepot or Lowes and get some landscaping flat blocks to put under your scope. Then add some wood of varying thickness to get your scope up out of the grass and help level it out. Or better yet pack your lawn mower, weed trimmer, a Pick, and shovel. I don't think they would take kindly to any excavation though.



#22 Charlie B

Charlie B

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 970
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Sterling, Virginia

Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:51 PM

Also pack plenty of allergy medication.

 

Regards,

 

Charlie B



#23 Lentini

Lentini

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 54
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2012

Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:39 PM

I did notice the crazy grass in the pics. What's the bug situation?  Is bug spray necessary?  I'm making my packing list and it's getting long.



#24 Seanem44

Seanem44

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Woodbridge, VA

Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:57 AM

I did notice the crazy grass in the pics. What's the bug situation?  Is bug spray necessary?  I'm making my packing list and it's getting long.

 

From my experience, bug spray is not necessary.  At that altitude there are very few bugs, mosquitoes or whatever.

 

At leats not as many as at sea level.  Never been an issue for me though.  And I'm the type that if I'm in a crowd with a 100, the mosquitoes will choose me to munch on.



#25 ben2112

ben2112

    Cloud Magnet

  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2012
  • Loc: North Charleston SC

Posted 13 August 2014 - 02:13 PM

How are the roads getting to the site?  Would a Hyundai Elantra be able to drive the roads or would it better to take the wife's SUV?  I won't be able to make it to this year's event (Too much going on at work), but I will plan on going next year. I wish I could go this year. I have been through that area years ago.  It is just beautiful up there. 








Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics