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The first field trip I took with the Astronomy Dept. at Cabrillo College was with our instructor, Rick Nolthenius. The spot we went to to was south of Big Sur on Furgusen-Nacimiento Rd. Just go down Hwy 1 to Naimiento Rd. - turn left and then go up the mountain for about 15 miles. It's a nice campground not far from the Hunter-Ligget Military Reservation. Here is where we set up the telescopes and tents. Some other students set up camp up the hill to the right.
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This is the first astronomy trip I went on that included Fred Miles, my now good friend. The fellow on the right I believe is Ed.
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Kirk Bender relaxing after arrival and setting up his home-made 12" Dobsonian telescope. Kirk became a santa Cruz Astronomy Club member a few years later and wows little kids as well as big kids at club star parties.
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I was one of the first to arrive. That's my tent. I hadn't been camping in years, so I went down to Outdoor World and got a nice little two-man tent. It barely fit one. When it rained most of the second night both my pillow and sleeping bag got soaked. Spent from about 2:00 AM in the car trying to get some sleep. When we left on the third day I gave it to one of the other students vowing to get a bigger tent for future observing trips.
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The Ponderosa Campground was right next to a nice creek that was reeeealy cold!
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More of the creek.
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Here is our instructor/guide, Rick Nolthenius. Rick is an excellent teacher both for astronomy classes as well as astro photography.
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A view of our set up area.
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Scopes and tents.
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My SUV and Fred's Sprinter. What a sweet rig!
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Getting ready for breakfast. Everyone chipped in and brought something.
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Rick cooking up his world famous crepes. They really are good!
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Man, that is one itty-bitty pup tent!
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On the second day we took a field trip down to the ocean with some stops along the way. We learned a lot about planetary formation and geology (tectonic plates, rocks...)
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A view of the aera to which we were headed along Nacimiento Rd. A very windy and steep road for about 15 miles.
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Our field trip destination.
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Most of the gang.
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Rick doing his thing - molding young minds :) Annie, there on Rick's left. Annie is a long time regular of these field trips as well as the asro photography classes.
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Exploring the area.
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Getting ready for dinner on the second night. It was already clouding up and getting ready to rain. Just after dinner when it got dark we got a moderate rain that lasted all night. Still, we gathered 'round the campfire under our umbrellas while Rick lectured about Cosmology issues.
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Getting ready for the rain.
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It's really hard to do astronomy with all those clouds. Still, on the first night we did get some good images, one of which was Comet Lulin.
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Heading home.
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Of course, the weather was beautiful after our trip :) Still, we had a fantastic time. Thanks, Rick!
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