Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Telescope Stories - How Far Have You Driven to Pick up some Astronomy Gear?

  • Please log in to reply
62 replies to this topic

#51 icomet


    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 224
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Montana

Posted 11 September 2020 - 02:17 AM

Made the deal over the phone, and drove 2,600 miles, round trip to pick up some old Newtonian

the seller insisted on getting $100 for.


It worked out, and here's the scope after "sprucing it up" a little.  yay.gif


Clear Skies.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cave Astrola 1sm.jpg

  • L. Regira, steve t, John Higbee and 3 others like this

#52 Wisconsin Steve

Wisconsin Steve


  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4,922
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 11 September 2020 - 06:44 AM

Just this spring I drove from Topeka KS to Santa Fe NM to pick up my 12" SW. It seemed longer but I see it's 691 miles. 

I just did that route a year ago on my way back to Wisconsin. Once you get to western Kansas and before you get to Santa Fe there is a whole lot of open road!


My farthest telescope trip was just under 1,100 miles in one day to get a Unitron 150.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC07329 low res.jpg

  • steve t, Defenderslideguitar and wrnchhead like this

#53 pbealo



  • *****
  • Posts: 1,078
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 11 September 2020 - 07:37 AM

Driven: from SE NH to Kingston Ontario to disassemble and return home with a 15.5" Fecker cassegrain. It took 2 SUVs and 4 of us to pull it off. Left after work on a Friday, arrived oh dark hundred Sat, slept, spent the day getting scope out, arrived home oh dark hundred Sunday. Exploit is documented here: http://www.chachka.net/new_page_2.htm


Flown: Boston to Springfield Missouri to pick up this: http://www.chachka.n...w Telescope.htm  .  Dual 4" f15 (one OTA visually corrected, one  OTA photographically corrected). We crated the hardware and had it shipped by craters and freigters. I carried the glass home as carry on luggage. Strangely, as my carry on bag was x-rayed the TSA Agent looked up and said "Antique telescope lenses?", I told him about the pieces and he told me about his 8 track tape deck collection. Did you know the 8 track tapedeck was 1st made by Lear, the same guy who made business jets?


Good Days!

  • steve t and Defenderslideguitar like this

#54 KBHornblower


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 262
  • Joined: 01 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Falls Church, VA (Washington DC suburb)

Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:29 AM

I drove about 40 miles each way to pick up my Celestron 8 at a motor freight terminal after a bungled attempt at home delivery.  It was slower than it should have been because the receptionist who gave me directions had a poor sense of distance.  It was on US Route 1 at Elkridge, MD, which I didn't know from the dark side of the Moon.  She thought it was about a mile north of Laurel, when it was actually about 9 miles.  If I had known that, I would have stayed on I-95 all the way instead of getting off at Laurel.  This was in 1976 when the interstate was fast and not crowded. 

  • steve t likes this

#55 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Posts: 27,540
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:15 AM

I once drove 300 miles to pick up a 60mm Goto from Ken Sturrock and deliver 3 Swifts to him in the same trip.  I've driven 200 miles twice to deliver a total of 4 SCTs to Tim53 at his family's Utah get-away house/drone testing station.  wink.gif  (Edit:  On reflection, two of those were Maks.)


The nicest part about these trips is enjoying lunch and conversation with friends at the meetup spot.  


I have never had to drive more than about 60 miles for a local purchase.  Most of my local purchases were within ten minutes of my home or office.  

  • steve t, Terra Nova and Defenderslideguitar like this

#56 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky


  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 93,073
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 12 September 2020 - 07:43 PM

I once accompanied a friend on a drive of about 700 miles one way to pick up a used 15" Obsession Dob.

  • Terra Nova and Defenderslideguitar like this

#57 apfever


    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,738
  • Joined: 13 May 2008
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 13 September 2020 - 12:29 PM

I did 433 miles one way to Sterling KS for a 25" Obsession.

#58 Dan /schechter

Dan /schechter


  • *****
  • Posts: 1,240
  • Joined: 21 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Long Beach, Calif.

Posted 13 September 2020 - 08:50 PM

I travelled about 630 miles round trip from Long Beach to Las Vegas Nevada to pick up my "Pawn Stars" 80mm Zeiss refractor from the Pawn Stars pawn shop. I was accompanied by Clint Whitman and we had a blast. A bonus was our visit to Ed Beyers in Barstow, Ca. on the way home.

  • Mike E., Terra Nova and jcruse64 like this

#59 Cometron


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 11 Sep 2020

Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:23 PM

Icm cinsidering a round trip of about 15 hours. Tasco 10te

#60 Cometron


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 11 Sep 2020

Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:24 PM

I am considering a round trip of about 15 hours. Tasco 10te

Edited by Cometron, 13 September 2020 - 11:24 PM.

#61 Defenderslideguitar



  • *****
  • Posts: 2,569
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 14 September 2020 - 11:14 AM

for 250?   I need to see more pics    my Tasco 10te     1958  in very good shape was   220 ask 

#62 cavedweller


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Ridgecrest, CA

Posted 15 September 2020 - 01:12 AM

I drove to 770 miles Labor Day weekend and then 500 miles last weekend, both round trips in one day each. I am now considering 1000 miles each way. I am questioning my own sanity.

  • Terra Nova and jcruse64 like this

#63 brian dewelles

brian dewelles


  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 09 Nov 2009
  • Loc: Wickenburg AZ.

Posted 15 September 2020 - 11:36 PM

I have made many telescope related trips. Two of the longest were 1991 and 1992. My son at the time played travel hockey for the phoenix jr. roadrunners. He was a mite then a squirt (9-11). In 91 we traveled to colorado springs for presidents day tournament. My little guy, nick played goalie and thats very stressful for dad of course. he played games at the air force academy and the old broadmoor hotel rink. So naturally i took an opportunity between games to visit black forest observatory and met paul van slyke. Really nice guy and i think he was doing a lot of outreach at that time.


The next year we went to littleton near denver and i got to go to s and s optika in englewood, i think the lady who ran the p!ace was katie, nice person and a great telescope store. We came home from that tournament on new years eve and i drove 900 miles getting in around 3am.


Pretty sure i purchased some eyepieces and books at both places but what made it special was i wouldnt have gone to those places if not for my son and i got to go  to those places with him.

  • Terra Nova likes this

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics