Some last-minute news as you prepare for AHSP 2014–

Schedule updates

Our 10th anniversary celebration will be Saturday at 6:15, when everyone is invited to join in a special ice cream social. This is not just for those on the meal plan, but for all attendees. Rod Mollise’s evening keynote talk will be delayed until everyone has a chance at dessert.

Greg Redfern will give the after-dinner talk on Monday at 6:30 on the Webb Space Telescope.

Some people who registered early for AHSP may not have noticed that canoeing has moved from Sunday to Saturday, so as not to conflict with as many other outdoor activities. If you are interested, there are still opening for this event.

Activities

Instead of a photo contest this year, we will have a photo gallery for everyone’s enjoyment in the main Yurt. Once processed, bring your photos in a memory card or USB-cabled device to the Yurt, where you can load them yourself on the designated machine.  These can be sky photos, nature photos, or photos of activities of AHSP.

The raffle will be bigger than ever. We have over 50 items worth over $3500, donated by astro-businesses, individuals, and NOVAC. Major donations have come from Explore Scientific, Televue, Woodland Hills, Orion, and Celestron. NOVAC has again donated a pair of Canon image stabilized binoculars, as well as Kestrel Wind Gauges and club memberships. Other raffle items include binoculars, telescopes, observing aids, a solar system camera, and gift certificates. As before, some items will be reserved for young attendees, who will receive special raffle tickets to use. Money raised from extra raffle tickets we sell will go toward AHSP’s donation to The Mountain Institute’s education programs. Details on the raffle rules will be in your registration packet.

Directions to TMI

detailed description of the last part of the road to TMI, suitable for printing, is available here <http://www.ahsp.org/home/directions-and-location/directions/> below the general directions. GPS will correctly locate the destination, but may not give the best route advice. Smartphone apps will not work, because you will lose your wireless data link before you get close.

We’ve been asked to let you know who to call if you get lost on the way. If you get lost as you approach TMI, it may be too late for any help except GPS: cellphone coverage is very spotty in the valleys surrounding TMI. But if you become disoriented before it is too late, you can call the TMI old-fashioned wired phone at (304) 567-2632. If your connectivity permits, you can continue to send email to <info@ahsp.org>, since our Internet access is quite good on the mountain.

Swap Table

In response to my request for people to say what they will be bringing, Sean Matthews said he is selling his lightly usedCelestron CPC 925 Starbright XLT.  He’ll bring it to AHSP if there is interest.  It is listed, with photos, on cloudy nights swap and shop forum. Contact Sean at <seanmathews1@hotmail.com>.

I have a roll of aluminized tarp material, suitable for telescope protection. Free sections available to anyone until I run out.

Weather

Right now, it looks like we’ll be dodging thundershowers early in the weekend, with drying toward the end. The actual impact depends on the mountain microclimate.  Even with clouds, we have a great program and great friends to fill the time.  Temperatures on the mountain are forecast to range from highs in the mid-70s to lows in the 50s. Remember: drink lots of water (altitude is dehydrating), wear a hat during the day (the UV can get you quickly), and dress with layers for observing (it will get cold)!

Some first-timers have asked whether mud can be a problem. Not in our experience, because the observing and camping fields are newly-mown hay fields, so you will be on grass or the maintained road through the property.

As always, send any questions to <info@ahsp.org>

See you in a few days!

Alan Goldberg, for the volunteer committee