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Logan Valley Star Party Oregon May 30 - June 4, 2019 Free!

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#1 audioaficionado

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 09:28 PM

Location: Lat/Long: N44 11.25', W118 36.95' (copy and paste into Google Earth)

U.S. Forest Service Big Creek Campground, Malheur National Forest

Elevation: 5,140 feet (average)

Dates: May 30th - June 4th, 2019 (Thursday through Tuesday)  New Moon: Monday, June 3rd

 

https://sites.google...ystarparty/home

 

I haven't been to this one, but it looks interesting and might fit someone's schedule looking for other PNW region options.


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#2 john_benham

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for referring to our Logan Valley Star Party on Cloudy Nights. Myself (Spokane) and Chuck Barnard (Seattle) were looking for a site that meets all of the criteria that we put on our website. So we took a chance and started it last year with around 20 people showing up. It will be interesting to see how much it grows this year, 2019. A friend gave me his old telescope - a Meade 14" LX200GPS. I redesigned it to where it can be portable and will show up with this scope. Last year Sean Hannegan did some fantastic imaging which I shared some of his on the web site.

 

Saw you are an audiophile as I am. I just ordered a Chinese tube stereo amplifier kit. Wish me luck...

 

Hope you can make the star party.

 

Later,

 

John Benham

Spokane, WA 



#3 audioaficionado

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 01:04 AM

I wish you well with both your star party and your audio hobby.



#4 WadeH237

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 09:13 AM

I'm seriously thinking about heading out there this year.  It's the same weekend as Pixieland, so I won't make the decision until pretty late (and possibly based on weather).

 

This is the last year for Pixieland, since the owner of the property is selling it.  It would be great to have another star party in the Pacific Northwest.  As a scheduling suggestion for the future, I would suggest picking a new moon cycle that does not overlap with Table Mountain, Golden State or Oregon star parties.  I suspect that you are already doing this, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

 

-Wade



#5 Starkid2u

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 07:07 PM

FREE?!? Wow, you're gonna regret THAT one! Good luck, though. Too bad I'm on the other side of the country...

 

STARKID2U



#6 vsteblina

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 08:41 PM

FREE?!? Wow, you're gonna regret THAT one! Good luck, though....... 

Nope he won't regret it.

 

As long as he stays under 75 he doesn't need a permit from the Forest Service. Once he gets vendors on site and charges...the Federal Government will want it cut of the proceeds.

 

BUT you really do need to come out to Long Creek, for someone from New York....it will be an adventure.



#7 Mikefp

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 02:29 PM

Hi John,
Logan Valley Star Party sounds good. Shoulder surgery is my recent issue so I'll see how it recovers next couple months. May need help off loading an reloading my 20" from van.
Mike from GSSP

#8 KidOrion

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:10 PM

Gonna try really hard to make it. Depends on work scheduling.



#9 medderx

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:30 AM

I'm seriously thinking about heading out there this year.  It's the same weekend as Pixieland, so I won't make the decision until pretty late (and possibly based on weather).

 

This is the last year for Pixieland, since the owner of the property is selling it.  It would be great to have another star party in the Pacific Northwest.  As a scheduling suggestion for the future, I would suggest picking a new moon cycle that does not overlap with Table Mountain, Golden State or Oregon star parties.  I suspect that you are already doing this, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

 

-Wade

You really should go, the skies there are absolutely phenomenal. Like John mentioned I got some pictures, although I struggled with mount issues the whole time I still got some magnitude 17 and 18 galaxies around ring nebula with just two hours of exposure.



#10 audioaficionado

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:47 PM

Next year I'll give this one serious consideration. Back surgery took it out of the realm of possibilities this year.

#11 WadeH237

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:46 PM

You really should go, the skies there are absolutely phenomenal. Like John mentioned I got some pictures, although I struggled with mount issues the whole time I still got some magnitude 17 and 18 galaxies around ring nebula with just two hours of exposure.

My schedule is looking good for this.

 

I would normally take my truck camper for just me, but my wife has a trip planned at Soap Lake the week after Logan Valley and her parents are coming and she'll need enough room.  So I took the motorhome out of hibernation today, checked it out, and started getting it ready.  It's dewinterized and I took it out on the road for a few miles.  The fuel and propane are topped off and most of the systems are checked, so it pretty much just needs to be packed (and I have a head start on that - the observatory tent and accessories are packed).

 

At this point, my plan is to take the motorhome and tow car to Logan Valley.  Afterward, I'll head back home via Soap Lake.  We've made arrangements to drop off the motorhome a week early at the site, and then I'll drive the tow car home.  My wife will take the tow car back for her trip and then tow it home with her.

 

I know exactly what imaging gear I'll be setting up, but I haven't decided on what to do for visual yet.

 

Looking forward to it!



#12 audioaficionado

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:29 PM

Hope you get good weather Wade. My daughter and I will be in Jedidiah state park in N Cali. I'll bring my binoculars and small ST80 scope just in case I have clear nights.

#13 WadeH237

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 11:07 AM

Watching the forecast for Seneca and John Day has been a roller coaster ride for the last few days.  As of now, the first night or two might be iffy, but it looks like it gets better after that.

 

At this point, I'm reasonably committed to going.  I'll finish packing up tonight and tomorrow morning.  My mom lives in Richland, WA, so I'll overnight there tomorrow night and head out to Logan Valley on Thursday morning.

 

I've still not settled on a visual scope, and it's possible that I might not bring one.  I've got a ton of work (as in my profession) to do, so I'll be working out of the motorhome during the day.  It looks like cell/internet access might be limited or non-existent at the site, so I've prepped my computers so that I can be productive offline.

 

As for imaging, I'm fully automated, so I don't need to stay up all night for that.  I'll definitely bring a pair of binoculars and would be happy to accept an offer to share views from anyone who asks.  And if anyone want to bounce any imaging issues or ideas off of me, I'm always up for that.



#14 phonehome

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 05:27 PM

WadeH,

For this exploratory trip I'm doing visual only. After starting your run drop by for plenty of easy-to-access eye candy at Elvira's eyepiece.

Also for kicks doing some visual NV/image-intensification.

#15 seawolfe

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 12:11 PM

I'm making it to the LAST Pixieland SP in Goldendale, but will ear mark this one for next year.   Its south of John Day, so it makes for even a longer travel trip for me from the Tacoma area.  We'll see, maybe next year! wink.gif



#16 medderx

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 01:00 AM

I've still not settled on a visual scope, and it's possible that I might not bring one.  I've got a ton of work (as in my profession) to do, so I'll be working out of the motorhome during the day.  It looks like cell/internet access might be limited or non-existent at the site, so I've prepped my computers so that I can be productive offline.
 

Yeah there really is not any service out there, nearest I could find is about two miles away from Seneca.

I'm going to try to be there Friday but it depends on weather and my procrastination with packing, will for sure be there by Saturday.



#17 treeclimber

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 02:05 PM

I was there last year and it was fantastic! After looking at the weather, I'm having second thoughts about betting $300 of fuel on the trip.

 

Rich



#18 medderx

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 06:26 AM

I was there last year and it was fantastic! After looking at the weather, I'm having second thoughts about betting $300 of fuel on the trip.

 

Rich

yeah I waited until today to leave because of the weather. If I remember right last year showed similar weather but with the campground being about 1300' higher than Seneca we seemed to luck out.



#19 WadeH237

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 09:27 AM

I got back on Tuesday evening and am just now getting caught up on non-work stuff.

 

There was no cell coverage there at all, so I was radio silent the whole time.  The weather turned out to be a non-factor.  When I arrived on site, it was raining pretty steadily.  Most people had not set up any gear because the forecast for the first night was poor.  As it happened, the first night was much better than we anticipated.  A few of us were looking at the clear, dark sky going "Huh.  It's too bad we're not set up".

 

I was able to image all night long for the remaining four nights.  The second-to-last night had some clouds obscuring the southern horizon.  I was imaging in Cepheus, so it didn't bother me, but most folks were doing early season imaging in the Sagittarius area and it shut them down.

 

I was telecommuting during the day (well, working, but with no network access), so I really didn't stay out after dark much.  Most of the time I was out, I took up phonehome, above, on his gracious offer to use Elvira.  Elvira is an AMAZING scope that is probably the best thought-out package that I've ever seen - worthy of its own topic.  He also brought along a new toy - an imaging intensifier.  We had great fun with it both looking at the sky with no scope at 1x, and pairing it with Elvira.

 

There were two downsides.  I was prepared for one, but not the other.  The first one is bugs.  There were a *lot* of them.  I was able to manage with nightly applications of repellent.  The second one is dew.  I was ready for this with my optics, but not my footwear.  The observing field is a meadow with wild grass that's about 6" tall.  Walking around in it got me feet drenched.  On the second night, I switched to some wool socks that I brought, which kept my feet warm.  But I did not have any waterproof footwear with me.

 

All in all, it was a great time, with great people and great skies.  I'm definitely going back next year and would recommend it to anyone looking for a star party in the Pacific Northwest.


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#20 KidOrion

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 10:47 AM

I got back on Tuesday evening and am just now getting caught up on non-work stuff.

 

There was no cell coverage there at all, so I was radio silent the whole time.  The weather turned out to be a non-factor.  When I arrived on site, it was raining pretty steadily.  Most people had not set up any gear because the forecast for the first night was poor.  As it happened, the first night was much better than we anticipated.  A few of us were looking at the clear, dark sky going "Huh.  It's too bad we're not set up".

 

I was able to image all night long for the remaining four nights.  The second-to-last night had some clouds obscuring the southern horizon.  I was imaging in Cepheus, so it didn't bother me, but most folks were doing early season imaging in the Sagittarius area and it shut them down.

 

I was telecommuting during the day (well, working, but with no network access), so I really didn't stay out after dark much.  Most of the time I was out, I took up phonehome, above, on his gracious offer to use Elvira.  Elvira is an AMAZING scope that is probably the best thought-out package that I've ever seen - worthy of its own topic.  He also brought along a new toy - an imaging intensifier.  We had great fun with it both looking at the sky with no scope at 1x, and pairing it with Elvira.

 

There were two downsides.  I was prepared for one, but not the other.  The first one is bugs.  There were a *lot* of them.  I was able to manage with nightly applications of repellent.  The second one is dew.  I was ready for this with my optics, but not my footwear.  The observing field is a meadow with wild grass that's about 6" tall.  Walking around in it got me feet drenched.  On the second night, I switched to some wool socks that I brought, which kept my feet warm.  But I did not have any waterproof footwear with me.

 

All in all, it was a great time, with great people and great skies.  I'm definitely going back next year and would recommend it to anyone looking for a star party in the Pacific Northwest.

I wasn’t able to go this year due to work conflicts, but I’ll be sure to schedule for it next year. Thanks for the report/warnings!



#21 Jack Day

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 10:48 AM

Wade:

 

"Elvira is an AMAZING scope that is probably the best thought-out package that I've ever seen - worthy of its own topic."

 

Indeed it is, and indeed it has:  (Its own topic)

 

https://www.cloudyni...585390-24-f275/

 

Cheers



#22 phonehome

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:45 AM

Wade & I had a lot of fun with the intensifier - particularly in Ha both in and out of the scope.  Wade wasn't out on the last night but the "Pillars" in the Eagle Nebula became an easy target in narrow-band Ha at 500x with the intensifier.

 

Jack thanks again all for the encouragement and posting the link!

 

Logan Valley SP was a good experience.  It consisted of a small but very friendly and welcoming group of folks [mostly APers] who were always ready to assist anyone with a problem or just chat.  The campground itself is well maintained, has about 15 sites with tables/fire pits and there were tidy/clean/stocked outhouses available as well as water.  The paved roads to the site are well maintained with only the last 1/2 mile in gravel.  The graveled portion is graded smooth and surprisingly relatively dust free for that type of road.  The scope field is flat and almost level with a very slight downward grade to the south.  Unlike the Oregon SP it was super-easy to install stakes/lags for holding down tarps, etc.  The field is covered with 4 to 6" high patches of wild grass with a gravel/soil mix.  Winds and dust at the campground and the scope field were never an issue.

 

I didn't have a SQM so no readings are available but there were no hints of light domes in any direction.  It is a very dark location with not a single light visible.  Fortunately the campground is buried in enough trees that even when some non-astronomers camped there with a fire it was a non-issue.

 

For myself, the only negative was one that Wade mentioned: the skeeters would came out in force in the evening but repellent kept them at bay.  After dark they of course disappeared.  My guess is there were more of them than normal this year since it had been a very wet spring with lots of rain over the previous weeks.

 

The Star Party was free, the campsites are $8 per night for those who wished to camp there, and parking/camping along the gravel road adjacent to the scope field was allowed fee-free.

 

Thanks again to John, Chuck, Dan, Wade and the rest of the gang!


Edited by phonehome, 10 June 2019 - 11:39 AM.

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#23 audioaficionado

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 05:24 PM

I've been thinking of getting one of those image intensifiers. If you can afford a good one and accept that your eye isn't seeing the original photons, it's a great way of seeing great detail in even light polluted skies.



#24 Solar Ken

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 11:43 PM

I'd love to see photos of this site. Anybody have some they could post? Thanks.



#25 WadeH237

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 08:03 AM

I don't take a lot of (non-astro) pictures, but here are a couple from this year's Logan Valley.

 

The motorhome and the Kendrick tent are mine.  The observing field is huge, and the gear was sparsely set up, with 8 or 10 scopes.  The covered scope in the background of the tent picture is Elvira - one of the coolest telescopes ever.

 

I really like this site.  It has lots of room, easy access, and a small campground across the street from where I have my motorhome parked.  The skies are really dark.  The closest towns are John Day and Seneca, which are both at significantly lower elevation.  There is absolutely zero light glow from them that reaches the Logan Valley site.

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