12/23/06 Black Star Canyon star party recap by Steve Short
No one was around when I opened the gate at 4:15 pm and the sky was fairly cloudy. But a few members started showng up and setting up scopes as the sky darkened and became even more cloudy. We were only able to see the 3rd quarter moon through the clouds and occasionally some stars would be visable. We had 8 cars but most everyone left within 5 hours. The few that stayed and came after 9 pm had clear dark skies and we had nice views of the best winter objects...especially through Don McClelland's 10" Meade LX200.
We also had several first time guests come out and one named Neil said he had a blast after 9 pm, even though the temp dropped from 62F at 4:15pm clear down to 36 F by the time I closed the gate. One member (Travis Ray) came out late bringing his Meade Light Bridge DOB which his 5 year old son Brandon took over pointing at objects like a seasoned pro astronomer. Travis has taken Brandon out to Anza too and had his son dressed warm enough to enjoy the evening ... what a good father!
Member Judy who lives in Black Star canyon came late with her 11 year old grandson for the first time and Don showed them Saturn, the Orion Nebula and some star clusters. Poor Judy got her Honda stuck just off the dirt road trying to drive into the parking area without headlights but we were able to help her get free. I should have left the red blinker lights on past 10 pm but didn't think we would get anyone else that late.