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.
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.
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.
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.
The Ponderosa Campground was right next to a nice creek that was reeeealy cold!
More of the creek.
Here is our instructor/guide, Rick Nolthenius. Rick is an excellent teacher both for astronomy classes as well as astro photography.
A view of our set up area.
Scopes and tents.
My SUV and Fred's Sprinter. What a sweet rig!
Getting ready for breakfast. Everyone chipped in and brought something.
Rick cooking up his world famous crepes. They really are good!
Man, that is one itty-bitty pup tent!
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...)
A view of the aera to which we were headed along Nacimiento Rd. A very windy and steep road for about 15 miles.
Our field trip destination.
Most of the gang.
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.
Exploring the area.
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.
Getting ready for the rain.
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.
Of course, the weather was beautiful after our trip :) Still, we had a fantastic time. Thanks, Rick!