Thank you, Thank you, Thanks you all…..
Bert Seltzer
I just wanted to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone involved
in the organization and execution of GSSP 2008. This was the very
first time I’ve ever attended an astronomical event of such magnitude, and I have to say all the planning and hard work that went into making it happen made it an experience I will cherish for a life time.
I haven’t seen skies like that since my childhood. Even familiar
objects seemed almost brand new, and I was able to observe in detail DSO’s that were, under lesser skies, either barely discernable or flat out impossible. And every bit as amazing was the camaraderie of all the attendees. It truly seems that amongst amateur astronomers, there really are no “total” strangers.
I can only imagine the effort that had to have gone into GSSP 2008,
and I just wanted to say a great big “THANK YOU” to both the
organizers and our gracious hosts, the Albaughs.
Thank you GSSP
Bill Faatz
Just got back from GSSP and would like to extend a big “job well done” to The Committee and volunteers for doing an outstanding job of organizing this starparty. In spite of no shower trucks, they were able to secure showers at the Beiber HS…THANK YOU.
The BBQ on Friday night was a real treat after camp food for two days. Throughly enjoyed myself and definitely will be back next year.
Mr. Bill ;>}
ps measured typically SQM 21.85 skies, so the potential is there if we get conditions with no smoke next year….got my fingers crossed.
Returned richer and better for it
Paul Romero
Hi all,
Thanks for the great environment at the GSSP 2008! I went, conguered the night sky, and returned safely. I think it was a wonderful star party, with only some smoke to deal with. I hope that the organizing committee keeps camping by the trees available as an limited option as well as allowing people with pets! I hope that the website reports the temperatures (min/max) and site conditions for future star parties, as this will help attendees plan. I uploaded a half-assed movie I made of the event…see files section.
GSSP 2008 – Thank You!
Christopher Kerry
This was my first GSSP. In fact, it was my first over-night star
party. My thanks to everyone who helped make it happen. I eagerly
await GSSP 2009. (And not just because I want more Frosty Acres Ranch beef nor tasty Adin Supply Co. biscuits & gravy!)
The views were beyond anything I’ve seen, despite the sometimes
troublesome weather & smoke. Each night there were some mighty fine viewing opportunities, especially Saturday night, when I got to see Io (and its shadow) transit Jupiter. The organization was exceptional and, except for the showers being
commandeered for the fire fighting crews, made the whole trip pleasant and without incident. Our hosts, the Albaughs of Frosty Acres Ranch, were a fun bunch and some of the most genuinely friendly people I’ve ever met.
I didn’t mind the heat during the days, nor the winds since they died
down just around dusk. The cool to chilly nights were refreshing and
made staying up until the wee hours enjoyable after the hot days.
Next year I’m taking a dip in Ash Creek during the days though 🙂
Clear Skies,
(PS, Chris loved GSSP so much, he and Inga bought a house in Adin and will now live there full time).
Thank you for GSSP!
Curt Wittenburg
I want to log my thanks to all the organizers and other volunteers. I
think the site is fantastic, the organization was great, and I am
confident it will only get better as this was the first. I was one of
the unfortunate ones who only came for the first two nights. Looks
like I missed some great skies and also a great barbeque. However, I
did have an excellent time seeing old friends and making new ones as well as getting in a few hours at the eyepiece (mine and others).
Loved the area. Special thanks to Paul Alsing for carting my scope
and observing gear up from San Diego. I really look forward to future parties at this site.
Thanks to all of you,
Just one more night !!
Dennis Recla
First – Thanks to all who organized the GSSP, it was great even with
the minor problems from the California fires. Thursday wasn’t too bad, and a chance to get a good nights sleep.
But!! Sunday morning looked fantastic, if we could have stayed one
more night, no telling what Sunday would have been like.
Already anticipating next years activities in Adin.
Hope to see some of you again at the Mt. Bachelor Star Party – August 6-10 on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor West of Bend, OR.
Dennis & Diann Recla
Great Event
Jeremy Schmit
I would also like to thank the organizers for putting together an
outstanding event. The location was wonderful, and we were a few lousy fires away from having three perfect nights–plus a night to catch up on sleep :).
I came up with the goal of getting to know the NorCal astronomy
community, and this task proved even more fun that the observing. I had wonderful conversations with everyone I met over the five days, and I look forward to cementing those friendships at CalStar and beyond. I would also like to thank everyone for their patience with my 3-year-old son Nathan, and doing their best to hide their terror as he inspected all the “biiig telescopes”.
Finally, a big thank you to the Albaughs and the people of Adin for
their hospitality.
Great Event
Susan Wicks
Seeing a little bit of the Albaugh family history and their ideas for
the future was an experience I’ll never forget. The ranch was one of
the cleanest, most well-kept ones that I have ever seen in my lifetime and it shows how much pride they take in the care of this vital part of their family’s heritage. As you walk into the older barn, you can see the horse stables and massive post & beam structure that houses the hay for the animals. Everything was done with hand-hewn broad-axe work & pegs. By the front entrance, you can see the hand-carved inscription made by some of the wood-workers that had come through the area, building barns for the ranches in the region. Two signature dates carved by those builders during 1912 & 1914 could be easily seen. The craftsmanship looked very similar to that found in early New England schooners & public buildings that are still around.
I especially enjoyed seeing the “scare-eagle” that was being used to
keep the snow geese off the wild rice in the lower pond and the wild/
real bald eagle on the next pond. They also have managed to keep one snow goose mom very happy by leaving her & “her” bales of hay in the shelter alone so that she and her goslings can have some peace.
Later at the other barn… Getting up in the cab and tooting the horn
of the large tractor was a such a hit with so many of the kids. The
two girls, handling the sheep were experts at getting them clean after their mid-day leap into the creek. Meaghan was so kind to teach this city-gal how to rope that “steer”. So what, if I was 2 feet off to either direction and only five feet in front of it and missed? And, yes… I did use the cross-cut saw to try my hand at branding. I put the GSSP star brand (how creative!) on one side of the log slice and the Frosty Acres “snowman smiley-face” brand on the other.
I asked our local wildlife expert & local “guru”, Zoe, what birds were
doing their throaty vocalizations in the morning and she told me they were the Sandhill Cranes. I’d heard that they were in the Tule Lake region, but didn’t know that I’d have the good fortune to hear them on this trip. If you’re a birder, there’s lots of surprises to be found at this spot. (Thanks Zoe, for everything! Ralph, another great person from the area came by to say hi, disappeared for a while, came back and surprised us… I just want to say for all of us “thanks for all the fish”! Tastiest trout that I’ve ever had in my whole life & what a complete surprise!!! We all enjoyed them.
Personally, I enjoyed watching all the kites flying in the western
field during the winds and breezes that predictably would cool us down during the afternoon. You could say it felt like our northern
California version of “The Kite Flyer”. I know I’ll be sure to bring a
box kite next time. I especially liked the duck windsock and space
shuttle kites. After all the kite play, that wind dies down during
sunset. Great afternoon air-conditioning! It also served to drive a
lot of the smoke away by nightfall. People seemed to do a really good job of staking their equipment, tents, & shelters down in our area. The 9″ steel nails seemed to do a great job. We nailed them into the ground using a regular hammer.
What a unique site! I had no idea how much that area of California has to offer and look forward to future adventures.
GSSP 2008
Ivor Barker
Being on a grass site rather than TARMAC made a great difference in keeping the heat down.
Kudos to the folks who found the site, and many thanks to all you organizers!
Is the registration list up for GSSP 2009 yet ? 🙂
Gee Ess Ess Pea – Two Thousand Eight
Jeff Gortatowski
There are sooo many great memories. Honestly that is all that REALLY matters to me. Hundreds and 100s of great memories of the Golden State Star Party 2008. How does the committee do it!?? The first year and it is literally a walk off home run. Outta here. See ya. Jane, Marsha, Paul, Pete, Jo Bob, Mark, Rich G., Charlie, Susan, Bill, and the AMAZING cat herder himself, the apparently indefatigable Richard Ozer, well done. Just ‘fantabulous’. Are there more superlatives I can add? Richard, as usual you rock.
I only just stuck the pictures on my computer so I have to sort through them and I’ll get them uploaded to fototime soon. Nice thing about fototime is you can get access to the full resolution image should you so wish to.
Sunday Paul Alsing and I travel from deep in Southern California, up the I-5, over the Grapevine and on in the central valley. Forking off on to CA-99 we jammed on music until we stopped in Visalia. Paul has a cousin living there. Gloria is a fun, smart, energetic, naturally curious, and a gracious hostess. And did I mention fun? She would join us at GSSP in a few days.
Funny story – sort of. We ordered pizza to pickup. When we got there they had no record of the XL pizza being ordered by a ‘Gloria’. We checked twice and even tried calling another store thinking we used the wrong number to phone it in. Nope. No pizza order by anyone called Gloria… fine. So we ordered a large pizza under the name of ‘Paul’. ’bout 10 minutes later we heard from the counter ‘Pizza for Gloria’. A slightly miffed and more than slightly surprised we quick stole away shaking our heads. An XL for the price of a L. They had *insisted* there was no order for ‘Gloria’. Anyway we ate pizza and drank wine until Gloria offered us the use of her pool an hour or two later. We dialed the colored light in the pool to a suitable star party muted red color and spent the rest of a wonderful evening in the pool, looking up at Jupiter, and sipping wine until something like 1am. Her hospitality made our trip up a real pleasure.
By 11am Monday we were on our way to Redding. Paul has the most varied collection of music I have ever seen or heard. I honestly doubt ANYONE at GSSP has a more varied collection. And he had only a fraction on hand. I listened to more types of music from more artists than I have ever listened to in the rest of 49.5 years of life combined! Only he can tell you all the genres we listened to. There had to be 15 or more. And some really ‘interesting’ things as well, like 30+ variations of “Orange Blossom Special”, and amazingly over 100 variations / renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. No, we did not listen to each and every variation… but still… he has a delightfully eclectic and amazing music collection. We pulled into Redding about 6:30pm, got our rooms and headed over to the foretold GSSP Committee meeting place at near the appointed hour. I had maybe 5 or 6 margaritas (by means nowhere even close to my ‘limit’) and proceed to partake in all manner of jokes and good cheer. So far… GSSP had started off very well indeed.
By 8:30am or so Tuesday Paul and I were ‘On the Road to GSSP’. As we traveled up the 299 it was amazing how quickly it turns to rural America. We knew we were not in Kansas any more when at the Safeway in Burney I was asked twice in the first 5 minutes if I needed any help in finding an item and was personal guided over to whatever item was being sought. Then we were thanked at least twice at the cashier checkout. If someone knows the manager, pass on the kudos to the team!
We crested into the Big Valley and headed through Nubeiber (not so nu), Bieber, and along the “A-whatever it was (25??)” to Basset Rd. After turning around past the GSSP entrance, – more signage please – we turned into the site and got to work. First up: Helping to unload and raise two large covers for the hospitality tent. Once that was done, it was time to walk up and down the field several times to pace out the final layout which was, by exective order, made into 2 x 3 array of rectangles instead of the original 3 x 3. That turned out to be the Goldilocks size as any width smaller would have made for a far more cramped inner observing area. With corners and roads having been given ‘the vampire trreatment’, myself, Paul, and Bob Jardine set about the task of marking the road and rectangle corners with some caution tape. I gathered from some feedback that worked out fairly well. Beyond those six roughly rectangular regions of the universe, chaos was allowed to reign to the North. Valid comments written in the past 24 hours notwithstanding, the sense I had gotten walking around ‘The North Chaotic Pole’ was that chaos seemed to suit those there just fine.
Paul and I straightened away our camp and then, on (or about) the seventh second, of the seventh minute, of the seventh hour or so after arrival, we rested. Later that evening we were treated to something I’ll never forget. Dinner over at Mo’s Pizza… BTW: Mo’s makes pretty fine pizza… now the pizza and beer joint over in Shingletown might be a tad better, but without my good friend and pizza aficionado Bill Dean to judge, I have no second opinion to go on. Oh yes… back to the amazing part… so we all sat down to a pizza dinner. I settled in next to the wonderful and always gracious Marsha Robinson and we all talked and had ice tea… I remember thinking the service seemed very friendly. I figured they generally don’t get parties or 10 or 14 and what with the committee there, and Aaron Albaugh and his parents… well maybe they would get a bit behind or overwhelmed. But no… the service was excellent as they seem to have a few Waitresses on staff and able to keep up. There was one attractive ‘waitress’ who was constantly making sure everyone had anything they needed. The natives are indeed very friendly. Eventually after… oh maybe 20 minutes or so, and noticing the conspicuously empty chair next to Aaron Albaugh, I turn my chair and asked him, “Where is your wife? Will she be joining us?” I was embarrassed and a bit dumbfounded when he pointed to the friendly attractive ‘waitress’ and said, “Becky is right there…”
‘Becky’, or ‘Red’, or Rebecca was serving us! Apparently she knew where everything was in the back, knew the people working there, and AFAIK took it upon herself to help them out. We had to almost beg her to sit down and have dinner! Well almost! 🙂 Oh and did I mention *we* were supposed to be taking the Albaugh’s to dinner! Well everyone in that valley seems way more frien and helpful than you could imagine. Over the next few days I got to talk with Becky and she is an amazing, funny, charming, and very energetic person. And she is one whale of a host! (And I am not just saying that because of the cup cake!) If everyone treated everyone as good as we were… Aaron’s father told me all about the old road that I could see from the overlooked miles away on the 299 as well as much of the valley history. It was all fascinating. I could have had a few more beers and pizza and talked with the Albaughs for a few more hours. Alas it ended too soon. Oh and speaking of Big Valley people… then there is ‘Z’. Wow. What and amazing person. Bright, intelligent, easy to talk with (cat lover!). Basically told us if we needed something ask. Observed every night with us. Virtually a kindred sprit. Hope to see her many more times in the future. And Chris who brought water. And the guy who brought us fresh fish to grill!!
Later that night another treat. My best buddies from San Jose and organizing committee regulars Susan and Charlie Wicks rolled in and setup next door. The Star Party can begin!
What a spot I had!!! In one rectangle I had
* Reigning “Observing Idol” Steve Gottlieb
* “Observing Idol” heir-apparent Alvin Huey
* “Observing Idol” Mark Wagner
* “Observing Idol” Paul Alsing
* My Starparty Guardian Angel Susan Wicks
* Maker of “Manly” telescopes extraordinaire Charlie Wicks and late night observing buddy
* My very good friend and telescope maker extraordinaire Eric Shrader
* Familiar friendly face from LBV and purveyor of Pilaga Piss John Hoey and his observing friend Ted Hupper.
Folks this is an observers heaven! I could not figure out who to impose myself on and observe with! 🙂 Why did I bring my scope? Really good question. Oh sure! I was gonna ‘observe by myself’ under really dark skies… Get REAL! Look at the people I just mentioned! No friggin way! I mooched photons (and more) fast and hard. I made no apologies for ‘inviting’ myself. There is so much to learn and see with these folks… I knew I was on my way when the first night Mark Wagner let me buddy up with him and we teased out 4 members of Hickson 85 in Draco in his 45cm scope. Three without looking at the chart, then the last knowing where to look.
GSSP 2008 – An incredible week
Pete Santangeli
First off, I want to thank all the other committee members for making working on GSSP a true joy. The results speak for themselves – we built what will no doubt turn out to be on of the premier star parties in North America. An event that successfully mixed families, beginners, imagers and serious visual amateurs.
I also want to thank any people from the Adin area that are reading.
It was an amazingly welcoming experience. Going in to this, I had no
idea what was in that part of California. I had vague impressions of
lots of trees and valleys. The beautiful land and wonderful people
were a real revelation.
Most of the details of the week have been covered by others.
Highlights for me? Setup day that went so very smoothly. Trepidation turning to joy when it became clear the smoke would not skunk us. Working the gate and meeting so many new people. Afternoon winds that cut the heat down. Flying Dan’s kite. Afternoon hours whiled away in great company. Presenting an imaging talk to a large and interested audience that asked excellent questions. Conditions that seemed for the most part to improve by the day. A great farm tour. Fabulous food. An outstanding Saturday night. Thanks to everyone for making the event a huge success!
Thanks to the Albaughs and the GSSP Organizers
Craig Bobchin
Well I’m back home after a week away, and approx 1500 mile round trip to some of the darkest (I’d add clearest, but the smoke took that
option away this year) skies i’ve seen in a long long time.
I had a great 4 days at GSSP 2008 (and I have to give special thanks
for accepting us SSP refugees in).
I had a blast and have to say that I’ll be back next year. I learned a
few things about doing these multi-day star parties (quite a bit
different from RTMC) that I’ll take into account for next year.
I have a lot of thoughts to put down, but will save them for after
I’ve had a bit of sleep.
Craig Bobchin
GSSP: 4 nights of peace and stars…
Jeff Crilly
Ok.. Since I was only there Friday and Saturday night, I suppose it was
“_Two_ nights of peace and stars”** for me.
** see the t-shirt for the reference.
My #1 complaint:  Too short of a trip!
Hats off to the organizers… When I think of the effort and _time_ put in, it is appreciated.
Excellent catering .. The Frosty Acres beef catered dinner was fantastic.
The Friday dinner was also great.
Btw, for my two nights… Friday night was good, Saturday was even better.
Saturday was amazing.. Total cloud out in the afternoon.. Then total
_clearing_ at night… That is the best weather.. Natural shade.
Jeff Crilly
GSSP 2008
David Cooper
I arrived on Wednesday at around 11:30 AM and observed
all 4 nights with my son Nathaniel.  I observed with
my AP155 and Nathaniel used my old and reliable C8.
We set up near Rob Hawley and Rob Enns as well as
several others observing with large Dobs.  We almost
bailed on Saturday, but sure glad we decided to ride
out the clouds!  Saturday night was great and I think
showed what dark skies this site can deliver.  Since I
observe with a relatively small instrument, dark
transparent skies are important and seem to add inches
of aperture.
One thing that impressed me about this site is the
consistently steady seeing – observing M57 directly
overhead at 355x on Saturday revealed at least 3 stars
embedded in the nebula itself – something I have
glimpsed only on rare occasions before. Likewise M27
revealed ~ 6 stars embedded in the nebula (in addition
to the central star itself). Never saw this level of
detail on the runway at Sizzletown. Impressive!
Even though the skies were not always cooperative,
this was a great event – this site is superb and a
very promising one for the future.  I want to thank
all of those who volunteered their valuable time to
make this event possible.  Thank you Richard, Jane,
Mark, Kevin…as well as the Albaugh family who
graciously hosted us!  I am looking forward to GSSP
David Cooper
Peace and Starlight in Adin
Eric Shrader
Just wanted to say thanks to the organizers of this fantastic star party. It is always extra tough to do something like this for the first time in a new location, I know there are a zillion details to work out, but you made it look easy. You couldn’t have chosen a friendlier spot and even with the smoke, the observing was great. I’m still trying to figure out how you got control of the wind switch to turn it off each evening so we could observe. 🙂 This was a well run operation from beginning to end.
I set up my puny 14.5 at the end of the row of big boys so I’d also like to thank Ted and John for sharing their hard-fought homemade shade. I’d especially like to thank Paul, Jeff, Charlie and Susan, for being so inclusive and letting me (and anyone else who wandered by) mooch some of their shade, put some of the party in star party and share so much of their observing talent, maybe you will make a decent observer out of me yet.
It’s the people who make this event.
Cheers, Eric