As a newbie I'm wondering where to camp as well, so a CN spot would work for me. I'll be getting in Wednesday afternoon in time for the Thursday workshop.
Also, I'm bringing a couple of TALs and won't have room for my usual solar observing rig. If anyone is interested in setting up their own refractor for the solar observing using my Daystar Chromosphere and ERF, I'll make it available.
(Along the trees on the east side would seem to be the most desirable place, maybe?)
Camping and observing at Stellafane -- the once-a-year question as late July approaches!
It is on a mountain in Vermont - meaning - rocky, no place is flat, there's lots of trees, it is difficult to drive in/out.
Refer to this map: https://stellafane.o...east_5-3-17.pdf
Since you have 'small' telescopes (at least to an Obsession 20 owner - but I use to bring a 127mm APO too) you have more choices than I do.
Are you willing to camp separate from your scopes? If so - set them up on the McGregor observing field - and camp someplace under the trees.
The camping areas shown on the lower right of the map (Southeast) are flat and nice for camping, and the daytime buss does loop down there - but there's only limited 'holes' thru the trees to observe 'down there' (my friends call that area "the hole" because it is the lowest part of the property.) This is where they make the big RVs go - nice spot to set up - but boy - I would NOT want to be driving a class-A motorhome down in there - or out - especially in the rain or storms!
One of the nicest spots - perhaps the nicest of all for camping (but no observing) is the area at the top of the map (North). This road is lower than the McGregor hill and goes thru the woods from the entrance down to the Swap area - with some really nice "campsites" along the way. There's a steep path up from that area to the McGregor - and many of the folks setting up big Dobs, etc, - in the McGregor Field camp in that northern area. There is an open field to the North - but it is off the property. I've heard that some folks go over there with binoculars, etc - but 'not recommended'.
The area around the Swap Meet is mostly used for camping by those who expect to offer large collections of 'stuff' that they don't want to haul a long distance (parking is non-existent - except for pickup/drop-off). I'm always amazed at the huge offerings some have at the Swap Meet - it seems their 'hobby' is buying old astro-related equipment and selling same at Stellafane!
Alas, they have never developed "Stellafane Far East" the area East of the Swap Meet - but at least they do put porta-potties over there. The roads are rough (4x4 is best), you will be pretty isolated from the rest of Stellafane with only a few neighbors, and it can be difficult to find a good spot to set up a scope. Still -- there are intrepid folks who have pioneered that area to the point that they needed the porta-potties.
At one time you could camp up on Breezy Hill 'behind' (South of) the Pink Clubhouse - but they now restrict that area to STM Members only - for camping - you can set a scope up there. As a result, over the years, that area has become less-and-less used - almost empty. In my 'early days' at Stellafane (mid/late 1990's) I would set up my scope and even a canopy tent back in that area - mainly because there was AC power. Today the trees have grown higher - cutting off half of Sagittarius, etc - perhaps limiting the area's use. Also, at night - the buss does not run -- so you will have to walk up/down the road to get there. It's one advantage -- it is in theory Stellafane's 'light restricted area' - with no white lights or headlights at all -- supposedly --
Edited by George N, 12 July 2019 - 11:20 AM.