Joshua Tree 2009

Diary of Roger's astronomy trip to Joshua Tree Lake RV Park, California May 22, 2009


05/20/09 I left at 8:45am for my Joshua Tree Lake star party. I arrived at the RV park at 12:30pm, checked in and got set up next to my friends Linda and Rick Strobel. The park has electric and water. One master sewer dump only. There was desert BLM land all around the park with ATV type trails great for running Meghan and Rich’s dog Bryce. Meghan loved running and playing with the Aussie Bryce pup. I got my telescope set up and spent lots of time that evening polar aligning and testing my two cameras out . Before I started however I watched the Cleaveland Cavilears NBA game. Went to bed about 2:00am.
05/21/09 Got up about 8:00am and took Meghan and Bryce for a nice long run off leash. Made a full breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, and toast. Rested allot in after noon and then went with Rich to Joshua Tree NP at sunset for photography. Did more astro photography at night staying up until 3:00am. Got my cameras and guiding finally working correctly near the end of the evening.
05/22/09 Got up at 7:15am having cereal for breakfast. To Meghan and Bryce on a run in the dessert. I then went with Rich for another photo shoot at Jumbo Rocks in the Joshua Tree NP. Got home and served some Albondigas soup to the Strobel’s and myself for late lunch early dinner? I finally got some real imaging in this evening; doing M3, M13, and M16 the Eagle Nebula. Stayed up until 3:00am again.
05/23/09 Got up at 9:30am dead tired from those radical hours, but hey to do astronomy imaging, this is what is required. Had an Einstein blueberry bagel with coffee for breakfast. Did a short 1.5 mile hike in the hot morning desert with Meghan. Spent most of day working on my astro images which were disappointing, because of poor tracking and polar alignment. The Strobels invited me over for barbecued chicken, vegetables, corn bread, and cold slaw Yum Yum. Did more imaging tonight, but still the wind messed up tracking. I am going to try the Gemini polar axis correction next time to try improving my polar alignment. I hate doing drift alignment, so I will give this a try. I hit the rack about 2:30 pm tonight.
05/24/09 Slept in to about 9:30am and did my morning hike with Meghan. This trip needs to be done about 3 weeks earlier to beat the heat. Watched the Indy 500 on my satellite TV and then slept for two hours. Two more astronomy buddies Jose and George showed up in the afternoon. Six of us went to the Rib Market for dinner. I had my first class of wine in 6 days and it was delicious. I abstained the last 6 days because I get too tired if I drink and stay up late imaging. We all watched the Mallin Cameras huge monitor show this evening. This camera is wonderful for public viewing of deep sky objects, but does not have good enough resolution to make great still shots. I escaped wanting to buy one, saving probably at least $1500 which I will put toward a Canon 100-400 lens. Got to bed before 1:00pm tonight as I had all my equipment put away ready to travel.
05/25/09 I drove home today leaving at 8:00am with Jose Magsaysay. We met several othe astromers returning from RTMC at Penstock restaurant for breakfast. Arrived home at 12:00pm and unloaded trailer. Played bridge with David Oakley in La Jolla Section but did lousy. I was quite tired as the session wore on.

Last updated on June 3, 2009