Greetings everyone. After two years of false starts, it looks like we’re finally going to have our event in 2022!
Covid has certainly taken its toll. In many cases, Zoom-based astronomy has overtaken actual astronomy and yet we manage to persevere.
The practical affect Covid has had on GSSP is related to vendor availability. Our friends in Klamath Falls who provided sanitation and showers are no longer operating their business (that may change in the future). So, this year the Big Valley High School has come to our rescue. Showers will be available in Bieber at the High School; visit the park, visit the museum, and take a shower. It’s the best we could do; shower trucks are a scarce commodity.
We are happy to welcome Adin Supply back into the fold. The grand old store is now owned by Chris and Inga Kerry, who many of you know, and both of whom are on the GSSP board.
As for registration, we have to increase our prices a bit and we have to limit attendance to 250 in order to reduce crowding. We ask two things of you. Get vaccinated, and come if you are feeling well. None of us want to contribute to the pandemic.
GSSP values the input of its attendees and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received over the years. As we are committed to improving the event, we made some changes this year to reflect our demographic.
As mentioned, we are capping GSSP attendance at 250 people. This means facilities will be rented for 250 people. Camping space will also be apportioned for 250 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.