Jump to content


Photo

Heading out to the highway..

  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:43 PM

I've got ten days off of work next week and plan on spending the time imaging (mostly widefield and timelapses), preferably from a black zone. I haven't decided on an exact destination(s) yet, but my ball park is somewhere in north central Nebraska, central South Dakota, Wyoming or eastern Montana. Any suggestions? 



#2 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 19 August 2014 - 10:06 PM

What area are you starting from?  The dark skies of Merritt Reservoir southeast of Valentine, NE host the Nebraska Star Party.



#3 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 19 August 2014 - 10:50 PM

What area are you starting from?  The dark skies of Merritt Reservoir southeast of Valentine, NE host the Nebraska Star Party.

 

Just a tad north of you. Merritt Reservoir would be the shortest drive for me, thus the most tempting. 



#4 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:52 AM

When we drive to Merritt from Albert Lea, MN, we can make it to Merritt in 7 hours, stopping only when the tank needs filled up (and bladders emptied).

 

You'll need a $25 Nebraska State Park sticker (available at the tackle shop) if you want to enter the park.


Edited by kfiscus, 20 August 2014 - 10:54 AM.


#5 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:53 AM

Deleted duplicate post.


Edited by kfiscus, 20 August 2014 - 10:55 AM.


#6 herrointment

herrointment

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4937
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2011
  • Loc: East of Poskin

Posted 20 August 2014 - 04:48 PM

Geez, you can't kill a post now.....sorry.


Edited by herrointment, 20 August 2014 - 04:51 PM.


#7 herrointment

herrointment

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4937
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2011
  • Loc: East of Poskin

Posted 20 August 2014 - 04:49 PM

 Any suggestions? 

 

Don't touch the rupture!



#8 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:24 PM

When we drive to Merritt from Albert Lea, MN, we can make it to Merritt in 7 hours, stopping only when the tank needs filled up (and bladders emptied).

 

You'll need a $25 Nebraska State Park sticker (available at the tackle shop) if you want to enter the park.

 

How is the light pollution to the south and west? From the maps It looks like there are no light domes. If i could find a spot out of the wind and high enough to see the entire horizon, i'd be happy.  



#9 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

 

 Any suggestions? 

 

Don't touch the rupture!

 

Ok...would poking at it with a stick be alright?



#10 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:55 PM

 

When we drive to Merritt from Albert Lea, MN, we can make it to Merritt in 7 hours, stopping only when the tank needs filled up (and bladders emptied).

 

You'll need a $25 Nebraska State Park sticker (available at the tackle shop) if you want to enter the park.

 

How is the light pollution to the south and west? From the maps It looks like there are no light domes. If i could find a spot out of the wind and high enough to see the entire horizon, i'd be happy.  

 

There are no light domes.  You can get elevation and you can find shelter from the wind, just not at the same time.



#11 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:47 PM

 

 

When we drive to Merritt from Albert Lea, MN, we can make it to Merritt in 7 hours, stopping only when the tank needs filled up (and bladders emptied).

 

You'll need a $25 Nebraska State Park sticker (available at the tackle shop) if you want to enter the park.

 

How is the light pollution to the south and west? From the maps It looks like there are no light domes. If i could find a spot out of the wind and high enough to see the entire horizon, i'd be happy.  

 

There are no light domes.  You can get elevation and you can find shelter from the wind, just not at the same time.

 

Well, two out of three isn't bad. In your experience, is there anything about Merritt i should know or try to avoid?



#12 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 21 August 2014 - 12:55 AM

I've been there for the Nebraska Star Party this year and last.  The park is 26 miles southwest of Valentine, NE.  Valentine has hotels, a grocery store, restaurants, gas stations, etc.  The Park itself has nothing but darkness, hydrants, outhouses, and limited shade trees.  BEWARE THE PRICKLY PEARS!  If you choose to go, wear boots.  Primitive campsites are $8/night.  Other campgrounds in the Park accommodate RVs.  The Tackle Shop has gas and a few groceries besides bait.  I've already started talking about getting a handful of Minnesotans together to share the cost of a rental RV for next year's NSP.


Edited by kfiscus, 21 August 2014 - 10:18 PM.


#13 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 21 August 2014 - 08:09 PM

I've been there for the Nebraska Star Party this year and last.  The park is 26 miles southwest of Valentine, NE.  Valentine has hotel, grocery store, restaurants, gas stations, etc.  The Park itself has nothing but darkness.  Hydrants, outhouses, limited shade trees.  BEWARE THE PRICKLY PEARS!  If you choose to go, wear boots.  Primitive campsites are $8/night.  Other campgrounds in the Park accommodate RVs,  The Tackle Shop has gas and few groceries besides bait.  I've already started talking up getting a handful of Minnesotans together to share the cost of a rental RV for next year's NSP.

 

Thanks for info and advice. I'll have to check it out, hopefully under clear skies.



#14 bobcat83

bobcat83

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2012

Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:31 PM

When I saw your post, Merritt Reservoir in Nebraska was the first place that came to mind, but Badlands National Park is another, and Wind Cave National Park.  Sage Creek Campground (primitive, no water, free) in Badlands NP has great horizons and no light domes to east and south, minor light domes to west (Rapid City) and north (Wall).  I'm not as familiar with Wyoming so no recommendations there.

 

One place to scratch off your list would be Theodore Roosevelt NP in North Dakota - light pollution from all the flare stacks in the oilfield development has severely affected sky quality around the park. The park itself is still one of my favorites by day, but sadly no longer for astronomy.



#15 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 04 September 2014 - 07:40 PM

Thanks for the suggestions bobcat83. I've been to Theodore Roosevelt NP before the oilfields, it was nice and dark at that time. It's depressing looking at light pollution maps of the area now.  

 

I have to say that my plans for clear dark skies were dashed, i ran into nothing but clouds and more clouds. I ended up coming home early, which turned out to be the right decision. Though the skies are not as dark, i did get some decent pics and timelapses from my usual spots. Here's one just as it was getting dark.

 

Attached File  000_2583a.jpg   165.22KB   3 downloads


  • havasman likes this

#16 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 04 September 2014 - 07:45 PM

Welcome back.  I was wondering how you fared.



#17 spinoza

spinoza

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MN

Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:24 PM

Welcome back.  I was wondering how you fared.

 

Thanks. It probably would have been better if i had just stayed in one spot, but the "grass might be greener on the other side" thing got to me. It wasn't a total bust though, i did get to see the Big Horn mountains again.


  • bobcat83 likes this






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics