Sunday, July 3, 2016

Texas Star Party - Nope, not this year

I've been hoping to attend the Texas Star Party for several years now, but other priorities kept us from it.  2016 was to be the year and as luck would have it, on March 10 we were selected to attend and awarded a spot for our RV!   We plan to attend for the full week to get the most out of the experience.  In planning the 944 mile trip (by far the longest trip we have ever made pulling a trailer) I decided to limit travel to about 4 hours per day.

So we planned to travel to Beaumont, Texas on Day 1, then onto San Antonio on Day 2.  Day 3 brings us to Fort Stockton, Texas, only about 1-1/2 hour from Fort Davis and the star party.   So a 4 day trip each way plus 7 days at the star party, a 13 day trip !  Downsides are that the timing would require us to leave on April 28, our eldest daughter's birthday and also we will be away from home on Mother's day, so my wife will miss having the day with the kids and grand kids.

It was a big job to tear down the scope and empty the observatory and pack it into the back of my truck.  I was worried it might not all fit, but it did.

The hatch even closed !

The trailer was packed and ready to go.   Ok, I did need to pull in the slide and and fold up the steps.

As April 28 came, the weather forecast wasn't looking good through Texas or Louisiana.  I didn't look forward to hauling the trailer in hard rain and especially high winds.  We decided to postpone leaving for a couple of days to allow the threat of severe weather pass.   Besides the weather forecast for the Star Party calls for rain on Sunday and Monday, so I likely will not miss any observing time by arriving on Tuesday.

As Saturday came, the weather didn't improve and the forecast for Sunday wasn't any better.  Monday looked like it might be an OK travel day but that would have us arriving Wed night, IF I could make it in 3 days.  Would I have the stamina to drive all day and set up and then view?.  Six  travel days for 3-4 nights viewing, assuming good weather at the Prude Ranch, is not a good ratio for such a long journey. So we reluctantly decided to cancel the trip for this year.  On a positive note we will still get to attend a star party: the Deep South Spring Scrimmage.  It is only 1-1/2 hour drive away and the weather forecast looks promising.  Hey, the truck and trailer are already packed !

This post was written on May 3-4, 2016 but I overlooked posting it until now. 

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