Greetings everyone. Welcome to 2023!
Once again, we are grateful for all the assistance we receive from the Big Valley community, especially Adin Supply, Frosty Acres and the Big Valley school district. For those who don’t know Adin supply is now owned by Chris and Inga Kerry, both of whom are on the GSSP board and took up residency in Big Valley several years ago.
As for registration, our prices remain the same as last year, and we’ll be capping registration at 350 for 2023. And remember, if you are not feeling well, stay home; we’re not out of the woods yet on Covid and some of the other nasty viruses that have afflicted us in the past year.
As mentioned, we are capping GSSP attendance at 350 people. This means facilities will be rented for 350 people. Camping space will also be apportioned for 350 people. For those who do not wish to pre-register, you will be taking your chances. However, you will be able to check the web site before and during GSSP to find information on how many slots are still available. Please understand there will be NO guarantees at the gate for last minute attendees. The easiest way to plan your GSSP trip, and to help GSSP plan for your trip, is to pre-register.
It’s no secret that half of amateur astronomy is now represented by astro-photographers. In the past, we’ve informally relegated night photography to the outer “north” portion of the event grounds (which we call the Oort-cloud). Although we still encourage astro-photographers to use that area, we are also expanding the dark enforced area near the hospitality tent to include all of the Jupiter and Saturn rows, and allowing anyone, including photographers, to use the dark enforced areas.
However, we are very serious about near-total dark enforcement in those areas. A bright exposed red light is nearly as bad as a white light. Photographers who use computers should purchase red plastic covers for their screens (Tap-Plastics), and surround their computers with a box pointed away from other observers. LED indicator lights should be taped over if not necessary for functionality, and flashlights or headlamps should be red and dim. The staff do not want to have to police this policy throughout the event, so we ask your full cooperation in advance.
For the rest of the field, even in areas with families and beginners, we ask that only dim red light be used. White lights are really a nuisance for everyone and we ask that they be left completely off or fully masked.
Motorhomes over 20′, in general, will have the south and south-west areas available, but starting halfway down the field we will have car and tent camping only. When you arrive with your motorhome, a GSSP volunteer will assist you in finding a location and orienting the vehicle. Of course, this is all easier to see than read. So please stay tuned for when we post our current site diagram. Note that sprinter vans are allowed in the general observing and camping area, but we expect you to be considerate of neighbors; those things are tall. Please park your sprinter at the ends of the rows and not smack in the middle.
Again, we will ask all registrants to let us know if they intend to bring dogs. Those attendees who are bringing a dog will receive an email or letter re-stating the rules related to pets (namely leash, cleanup, and noise control). The letter will state the consequences of not following these rules and the document will need to be signed and turned in at the gate. Since we instituted this policy, all our dog owners and dogs have been awesome! This policy seems to work and we’re happy to invite your well behaved pets.
We all thank you for your continued participation in GSSP and hope you have a great time. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions.