Rock Mountain Star Stare, July 2-5, 2008

Forest Service wouldn't allow RMSS at any of their usual locations, so the party was moved 40-some miles north to South Park, about 6 miles east of Jefferson.  This was an excellent location, probably the best they have had.  Low horizons all around, 9500 foot altitude, large light dome to the NE from Denver.  Another Forest Service twist is they would not allow vehicles more than 12 feet off the road, so we had a one-mile stretch of road heavily packed with rigs of all sizes and descriptions.

Couldn't make it up Wednesday.

Thursday afternoon very warm and breezy.  Mostly clear at sunset, clear all night.  Virtually no turbulence, minor dewing, cool.  Stayed up until after 0100.

Friday saw sprinkles and showers.  Mostly clear at sunset, soon mostly cloudy.  Some guerrilla astronomy though short openings.  Cleared around midnight and was better than Thursday nights viewing.  Warmer, no dew and better clarity.  This was a pretty good site for watching the fireworks in the communities in and around South Park, and since it was cloudy the extra light wasn't an issue.  However, there was a RAVE, or similar, going to the east of us that provided a constant heavy bass beat ALL NIGHT LONG, and IT NEVER CHANGED!  Good thing sleep was not high on the list of night time activities for most of us. 

Saturday had rain all afternoon, at times fairly heavy.  Clouded out all night.

Organization was great, porta-pots were cleaned daily, schedules printed on name tags, most things came off on-time.

Door prizes were not as generous as past years, many vendors simply provided gift certificates instead of hardware.

No official attendance was available, but 250 pre-registered and approx. 10 registered at the party. 

No vendors were allowed by the Forest Service, however, JMI and S&S Optika were present. JMI demonstrated some goodies for the Meade Light Bridge and S&S had some "loaner" glass you could borrow for the evening.

Took few pictures of the participants and equipment as the weather was not conducive to uncovering equipment until it was too dark for pics.  Also, due to the long narrow setup, I only took a couple of strolls the full length of the party.

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