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Big Bend National Park Astronomy


quinnfamily@...
 

Greetings Folks, 

I’m on my way to Big Bend National Park with my Mach 2 GTO and Stowaway.  I plan on imaging for 6 nights at two primitive camp sites accessible only by 4WD.  It’s been a lot of fun planning and addressing all the logistics challenges such as power/water/hygiene ...  The adventure basically amounts to a small expedition.  Cell phone coverage is spotty at best.  I do have my trusty Garmin InReach Explorer+ that allows text COMM via satellite (and a built in SOS button I hope never to have to use).  I look forward to giving you all a trip report when I return from the trip in a couple of weeks.

Clear Skies Everyone!

Shawn
Shawn


Karen Christen
 

That sounds like an exciting trip, Shawn.  Have a great time!

Karen

AP

 

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> On Behalf Of quinnfamily@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 2:13 PM
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Subject: [ap-ug] Big Bend National Park Astronomy

 

Greetings Folks, 

I’m on my way to Big Bend National Park with my Mach 2 GTO and Stowaway.  I plan on imaging for 6 nights at two primitive camp sites accessible only by 4WD.  It’s been a lot of fun planning and addressing all the logistics challenges such as power/water/hygiene ...  The adventure basically amounts to a small expedition.  Cell phone coverage is spotty at best.  I do have my trusty Garmin InReach Explorer+ that allows text COMM via satellite (and a built in SOS button I hope never to have to use).  I look forward to giving you all a trip report when I return from the trip in a couple of weeks.

Clear Skies Everyone!

Shawn
Shawn


DFisch
 


Shawn, besides being jealous I look forward to your travellogue of your adventures . Be careful of your security there’s a lot of people transiting through that area right now . 

On Tue, Apr 6, 2021 at 15:12 <quinnfamily@...> wrote:

Greetings Folks, 

I’m on my way to Big Bend National Park with my Mach 2 GTO and Stowaway.  I plan on imaging for 6 nights at two primitive camp sites accessible only by 4WD.  It’s been a lot of fun planning and addressing all the logistics challenges such as power/water/hygiene ...  The adventure basically amounts to a small expedition.  Cell phone coverage is spotty at best.  I do have my trusty Garmin InReach Explorer+ that allows text COMM via satellite (and a built in SOS button I hope never to have to use).  I look forward to giving you all a trip report when I return from the trip in a couple of weeks.

Clear Skies Everyone!

Shawn
Shawn

--
TJF MOBILE


quinnfamily@...
 

While one always needs to be cautious  when exploring remote areas, I have checked with the National Park and risk levels associated with a variety of factors unique to Big Bend are not elevated.  My biggest worry on trips like these is simply breaking down in requiring unplanned (and expensive) assistance.  Still, I appreciate your thoughts.

Shawn


DFisch
 

Glad to hear the Park service has got the situation under control; party on

On Tue, Apr 6, 2021 at 16:49 <quinnfamily@...> wrote:
While one always needs to be cautious  when exploring remote areas, I have checked with the National Park and risk levels associated with a variety of factors unique to Big Bend are not elevated.  My biggest worry on trips like these is simply breaking down in requiring unplanned (and expensive) assistance.  Still, I appreciate your thoughts.

Shawn

--
TJF MOBILE


ROBERT WYNNE
 

I have some property in this area. The lots are 5 acre parcels. We get a lot of traffic going north and the corners where the parcels meet are always areas for overnight hideouts. We leave food and water in the parcel's corners so no threat to the home has ever been a problem. Most moving north are thirsty, hungry and looking for work and present very little threat to the community. -Best, Robert

On 04/06/2021 1:49 PM quinnfamily@... wrote:
 
 
While one always needs to be cautious  when exploring remote areas, I have checked with the National Park and risk levels associated with a variety of factors unique to Big Bend are not elevated.  My biggest worry on trips like these is simply breaking down in requiring unplanned (and expensive) assistance.  Still, I appreciate your thoughts.

Shawn


David
 

Shawn,

Check out the Marathon Motel and RV park too.  It’s right on the way to the park and they have power, nice little cabins, and some dedicated astro concrete pads, WiFi, etc.  Nightly str parties too when the weather is clear.  We take astro trips there from time to time and it’s great. And probably just as dark, without being so remote and off grid.  

David 


On Apr 6, 2021, at 2:23 PM, Karen Christen <karen@...> wrote:



That sounds like an exciting trip, Shawn.  Have a great time!

Karen

AP

 

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> On Behalf Of quinnfamily@...
Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 2:13 PM
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Subject: [ap-ug] Big Bend National Park Astronomy

 

Greetings Folks, 

I’m on my way to Big Bend National Park with my Mach 2 GTO and Stowaway.  I plan on imaging for 6 nights at two primitive camp sites accessible only by 4WD.  It’s been a lot of fun planning and addressing all the logistics challenges such as power/water/hygiene ...  The adventure basically amounts to a small expedition.  Cell phone coverage is spotty at best.  I do have my trusty Garmin InReach Explorer+ that allows text COMM via satellite (and a built in SOS button I hope never to have to use).  I look forward to giving you all a trip report when I return from the trip in a couple of weeks.

Clear Skies Everyone!

Shawn
Shawn


quinnfamily@...
 

Thanks David, I was not aware.  Great suggestion!


Shawn


Frost David
 

You’ve got some nice little places to eat there too.  Rita’s Cantina at the RV park is great.  The Gage Hotel is really nice for dinner.  Great place with great people.  Definitely check it out.

David


On Apr 6, 2021, at 5:59 PM, quinnfamily@... wrote:



Thanks David, I was not aware.  Great suggestion!


Shawn


Edward Beshore
 

Some friends and I spent a few days in some of the backcountry sites you mention.  Specifically I remember one called “Robber’s Roost” south of the Chisos mountains. I would say among the darkest skies I have ever seen. It was easy to see my shadow from Venus.  Enjoy the dark skies.

Ed


Lee Dodge
 

There should be good dark skies, although the clarity sometimes is not as good as it might be due to coal-fired electricity generating plants that are probably in Mexico.  That area has some rattle snakes, so don't accidently step on one.  We paddled the Lower Canyons (Rio Grande) one time and had lunch on a large, overhanging rock.  After we got off the rock, we saw the good-sized rattlesnake in the shade under the rock.  I guess he did not feel threatened.  

Lee


George
 

When is the best time of the year to go to Big Bend NP for astronomy?

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> On Behalf Of Lee Dodge
Sent: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 10:46 AM
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] Big Bend National Park Astronomy

 

There should be good dark skies, although the clarity sometimes is not as good as it might be due to coal-fired electricity generating plants that are probably in Mexico.  That area has some rattle snakes, so don't accidently step on one.  We paddled the Lower Canyons (Rio Grande) one time and had lunch on a large, overhanging rock.  After we got off the rock, we saw the good-sized rattlesnake in the shade under the rock.  I guess he did not feel threatened.  

Lee


Frost David
 

Winter!  That’s when the temperatures are bearable.  That’s their busiest season too.  Don’t go in summer.

On Apr 7, 2021, at 11:46 AM, George <George@...> wrote:



When is the best time of the year to go to Big Bend NP for astronomy?

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> On Behalf Of Lee Dodge
Sent: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 10:46 AM
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] Big Bend National Park Astronomy

 

There should be good dark skies, although the clarity sometimes is not as good as it might be due to coal-fired electricity generating plants that are probably in Mexico.  That area has some rattle snakes, so don't accidently step on one.  We paddled the Lower Canyons (Rio Grande) one time and had lunch on a large, overhanging rock.  After we got off the rock, we saw the good-sized rattlesnake in the shade under the rock.  I guess he did not feel threatened.  

Lee


Vahe
 

The main event is Texas Star Party, lots of info on that on the internet, including reservations and places to stay during the Star Party.
.
Vahe


George
 

Many thanks to all for the info!!!   I’m getting ideas for the next trip.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> On Behalf Of Vahe
Sent: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 12:00 PM
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] Big Bend National Park Astronomy

 

The main event is Texas Star Party, lots of info on that on the internet, including reservations and places to stay during the Star Party.
.
Vahe


quinnfamily@...
 

I was able to secure a reservation at the Marathon Motel and RV site (thanks for the tip David!).  That’s in addition to the back country sites I already plan to stay at.  I suggest next year we have an Astro Physics Star Party and reserve the whole Motel/RV site - maybe support the NPS for a night or two inside the park (assuming COVID is managed to acceptable levels by then).

Shawn

Shawn


David
 

Awesome Shawn!  Tip:  if you want to be super close to the pads, reserve cabin #9 or #10.

You’ll like it there. Great place.  Have friends with gear there on site.  You can see some of their pics in the office.

David


On Apr 7, 2021, at 6:06 PM, quinnfamily@... wrote:

I was able to secure a reservation at the Marathon Motel and RV site (thanks for the tip David!).  That’s in addition to the back country sites I already plan to stay at.  I suggest next year we have an Astro Physics Star Party and reserve the whole Motel/RV site - maybe support the NPS for a night or two inside the park (assuming COVID is managed to acceptable levels by then).

Shawn

Shawn


M Hambrick
 

Big Bend is on my bucket list with or without my scope. I live in Texas, so it is only a 2-day drive for me :>)

For those who don't want to get so far away from civilization, the Texas Hill Country also has a lot of dark sky sites, especially around Fredricksburg and Enchanted Rock State Park. It doesn't get quite as hot in the summer as Big Bend. ONly into the upper '90s and low 100's, but the humidity is low. 

Mike