Monday, July 24, 2006

Nebraska Star Party Time

I like the Nebraska Star Party, very clear dark skies. It is advertised as having the darkest skies in all of Continental USA, and I believe it. The party is held 30 miles outh of Valentine, NE at Merritt Resovoir.

I had planned to leave town as early as possible Sunday 7/23. I actually cleared Des Moines at 9:00 am after having breakfast with Cheryl at our local Perkins (she didn't want to come on this trip.)

I am pulling a camper behind my little Ranger Pickup and I am not supposed to use overdrive while towing, so that imits me to about 65mph. Therefore, my inentions are to take the secondary highways and avoid the interstate where possible.

So the route I selected was,

I-80 West from Des Moines to I-680
I-680 (North around Omaha) to I-29
I-29 North to Hwy 30
Hwy 30 West to Hwy 77
Hwy 77 North Hwy 275
Hwy 275 North to Hwy 20
Hwy 20 West to Valentine
And then its just a short 30 mile jaunt south to Merritt Resovoir.

It actually was a rather pleasant drive, no problems, but it took about 10 hours. Total distance driven, about 430 miles.

I crossed into Nebraska at about 11:30 and stopped in Blair, NE at 12:05 and had lunch in a Runza resturant. I had what they call a Swiss Cheese Runza:

Well it was a cheap meal, costing only about $5.00. I understand Runza is a chain that is in Nebraska only. The only other thing worth mentioning is that I passed through Norfolk, NE the home town of Johnny Carson (for those of you old enough to remember him.)

I set up camp at about 19:00 visited a little with some of the other DMAS members and then made a couple of hamburgers. Ate both of them and had a can of pears.

Went out to the observing site and set up. The sky was excellent, giving twice the contrast that I normally see at DMAS, but there was a pesky wind of around 20 mph making observing difficult. I was tired anyway, so around midnight I gave up and went back to the campground.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Mmm, Runza. Next best thing to a homemade bierrock.