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Help us Choose a Venue

Started by JJM, 01/09/2008 10:27PM
Posted 01/09/2008 10:27PM Opening Post
We're a small club in western Colorado and traditionally we have our annual star parties at dark sky locations, usually in June. The choices this year are:

1) Grand Mesa
45 miles from Grand Junction; Altitude 10,500', weather is always iffy (snow in June); When weather cooperates the transparency is as good as it gets (SQM 21.5-22); The primitive site has no services and access is tough for large RVs.

2) Uncompahgre Plateau
40 miles from Grand Junction; Altitude 8200', good transparency & SQM readings of 21.8 on good nights. Site is primitive, flat, & sometimes dusty from ATV traffic on gravel roads.

3) Camp Ground at a state park
20 miles from GJ, 8 miles from a smaller city (Fruita) that has motels and restaurants; Observing site is grassy field with electricity, RV hookups, and showers. Paved parking but RVs can't be near the observing field; Altitude is 4200'; skies are OK - SQM readings usually 19.5 to 20.5. Large light dome on the eastern horizon.

We are trying to decide the location for this year's party and some members want the event at a site that offers more creature comforts than the two dark sky sites. Since we get about half our attendees from other areas, I'm asking for some input from AM members to guide our choice. Which of the three sites (if any) would you prefer, and why?

Thanks in advance!

Jim McSheehy