August 11 • Annual Star Party on Mt. Pinos • Easy • Led by David Coppedge
Creation Safaris’ annual star party on Mt Pinos has a special treat this year: The Perseid Meteor Shower! It’s rare to get the Perseids on a new moon and a weekend, but those three factors all come together nicely this year. Plan to stay later than usual to get the best views.
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will also be visible through our telescopes, along with the usual treats: M13 globular cluster in Hercules, colorful nebulae in the Milky Way, spiral galaxies, clusters and double stars.
Event begins at 6:00 p.m. with Dave providing teaching about astronomy news and creation, and orientation about telescopes and what to see after dark. We recommend a ground pad or chaise lounge for late-night viewing of the meteor shower: no other gear is needed to enjoy it. You don’t need to bring a telescope of your own.
For directions, check the Nordic Base on Mt Pinos website. It’s about a 20-mile drive west of the Frazier Park turnoff on Interstate 5. Go through town and continue on, without making any major turns. The road winds up the mountain and ends on a parking lot where you should see cars and telescopes. Look for our Creation Safaris sign. If the lot is full, park on the road leading up to the lot. Actually, it’s easier leaving after dark if you park along the road. Do NOT shine headlights or bright white lights in the viewing area after dark! This irritates the astronomers who need their eyes to remain dark-adjusted for viewing faint objects.
What to bring: warm clothes (altitude is over 8,000 ft), food and drink, red flashlight, chair. Binoculars can be helpful. A pad or lounge to lie down is comfortable for looking for Perseid meteors. The nearest restrooms are 1/8 mile walk from the lot, so go beforehand. Bring your own TP, as sometimes the outhouses are not supplied. If you have a smartphone, try installing the app Google Sky Map beforehand; it can help you locate and identify objects.
Please arrive at 6:00 or earlier. The teaching time is a key part of this activity. Arriving late not only misses that key part, but also could irritate others with bright headlights, and you may not be able to find parking, either. If you would like to go on a hike, come earlier at 3:00 and try a hike to the summit. Hiking is encouraged, as long as you get back to the group by 6:00. You can leave the star party any time you need to, but the later you can stay, the better the viewing gets. The meteors are actually best after 11:00 p.m. Try to stay till at least 10:00 p.m. Have a friend guide you out with a red flashlight.
October 14-17 • PARIA PLATEAU DISCOVERY HIKES • Strenuous • 4WD Req'd • Led by David Coppedge
For true adventurers! Explore one of the most remote parts of the Four Corners to help Chief Bwana Dave make new discoveries. Many people know about The Wave and White Pocket on the Paria Plateau, but there are places beyond that look just as interesting: areas of colorful and twisted Navajo sandstone beckoning the adventurous spirit.
This is a strenuous trip involving 4-wheel-drive roads and hikes of 5 to 10 miles per day, but you can help make history by exploring new areas never before documented or photographed. Last year, Dave discovered four new areas that are quite spectacular, and in May 2018, he found more – including the best one yet! See his YouTube channel (David F Coppedge) and look for “New Discoveries on the Paria Plateau” to see what it was like. New routes are planned for this year that promise magnificent vistas and colorful geology. Highlight will be a return visit to the spectacular “Lost City” and “Skywalk” overlooks.
To inquire, contact bwana [at] creationsafaris.com.