Wallowology

Dark Sky Star Party in Wallowa County, Friday, August 2: Go/No Go decision will be announced at 7:00 pm. E-mail me for direction to the location if needed.



Last year “we" had a wonderful series of astronomy events in Wallowa County (far northeast Oregon.) It was so much fun and so successful that we are doint it again. Here is a photo album from last year. Here is a .pdf of a slide presentation that I give.

For those of you who have already committed to volunteer, here is the latest draft plan (July 29, 2019). 

Who: These events are sponsored by Wallowa Lake State ParkWallowology, and Coriolis. Coriolis is my private business. They are NOT an official event or Wilson High School and are not sponsored by Portand Public Schools. That would be way too much paperwork.

However, part of the big idea is to get Wilson High School Astronomy Club alumni to come out to Wallowa County to help host an astronomy event for families visiting Wallowa Lake State Park. As a thank you, I will host at least one  “private” dark sky star party. There will also be lots of other opportunites for fun, not limited to Astronomy.

Current Wilson High School students and members of the WHS Astronomy Club are welcome to come, but only with their parents. This is a family event!

We also encourage local Wallowa County folks to get involved. This is meant to be a bit of an urban/rural mixer.

When: The window that will include our activites is Thursday, August 1 - Monday, August 5.

What: A Big Public Event and A Private Dark Sky Party

The Big Public Event: On Thursday, August 1, 7 pm - dusk, we will begin with a variety of fun, child-cented daylight space and astronomy activities. The idea is the alumni of the WHS Astronomy Club will chose one of their favorite activities and will lead it for the guests. Last year we had arts and crafts, phases of the Moon, red flashlight making, and water rocket building and launching. These will take place in the Riverside Day Use area at Wallowa Lake State Park. As dusk approaches we will transition to the public star party in the adjacent Lakeside Day Use Area. WHS Astronomy Club alumni, local Wallowa County astronomers, and others will set up telescopes and lead a star party from dusk - midnight. If we get rained out, the daylight events will be rescheudled to Monday, August 5. If we get clouded, but not rained, out, the star party portion can be rescheduled to August 2, 3, 4 or 5th. Most of the guests at the Big Public Event are the visitors camping at Wallowa Lake State Park. But, we also advertise and try to attract visitors staying elsewhere in the area. And this year we are making a special effort to attract the locals!

The Private Dark Sky Event: Anyone who helps out on any portion of the Big Public Event is invited to an all-night Private Dark Sky Party at a site about 15 minutes north of Enterprise. This event is scheduled for dusk - dawn on August 2, 3, 4, or 5. We may do more than one night. The exact night depends on weather.

Where to Stay: Participants need to find their own place to stay. There are hotels, B & Bs, and campgrounds. But the tourist season is short and popular in the Wallowas. You will need to get on it and find a place! A good place to start looking is the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce. You can also Google “Where to stay in Wallowa County."

Food: Participants need to provide their own food. You can go to restaurants or bring your own. Again, check out the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce

Fun: There is lots to do in the Wallowa besides the astronomy events. Ride the tram, day hikes, backpacking, ride the rails, visit art museums, and endless nature study. I will commit to make sure you get the help and advice you need to make this a very special experience for you. Once again, visit the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce

How to Get Involved: Let me know. Send me an email.

© Joseph Minato 2019