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Deep South Star Gaze - White Horse Retreat - Trial Run

Posted: July 4th, 2018, 10:07 am
by bsimon615
Interested DSSG attendees, PAS members, BRAS members, and members of other clubs as well as any other interested amateur astronomers will be able to evaluate the new site for the Deep South Star Gaze on the weekend of August 10th/11th. Note - this is "new moon" weekend and also coincides with the Perseid Meteor Shower.

The objective of this trip will be for more people to see the White Horse Christian Retreat Center, located near Sandy Hook, MS. This location is about 12 miles south of Columbia, MS. For me, White Horse is a shorter drive (91 miles) than the Feliciana Retreat Center (115 miles). In addition to observing under darker skies with lower horizons we want to better assess the site in respect to electrical outlets and what light shielding needs to be done if any. (The main building, where we will eat, can be seen from where most will be set up to observe. We may need to block some windows with tarps. Not sure about that just yet. Lights can be completely turned off, but if we have a snack bar at night, we may need to shield those lights.)

Cost will be $35.00 per night, not including meals. Please let me know if you plan to attend, and if you want meals.


Barry Simon

Re: Deep South Star Gaze - White Horse Retreat - Trial Run

Posted: August 9th, 2018, 10:18 am
by bsimon615
Ok, here is some final information before our journey to White Horse on Friday, August 10th. (As of today, August 9th, we have 15 people going)

I talked to Carol on Wednesday and she is expecting us about 2 pm to 2:30 pm on Friday. (Later is ok too.) She will be able to prepare some snacks for us on Friday (and Saturday) evenings. Snacks as in pull pork sandwiches, tacos, candy, chips, soft drinks, etc. There will be a charge but it will be very reasonable. My suggestion is that whoever is interested, we meet at the Country Diner located at 1504 Hwy 35, Sandy Hook, MS for lunch at about 1 pm. This is just about 100 to 200 yards north of the turn off on to Hurricane Creek Road. The Country Diner is about 4 miles from White Horse. I will post an image of the Country Diner as well as another meal option we will have, the SmokeHouse, located at 411 New Hope Road, Sandy Hook, MS.

While the weather is not looking perfect, it looks like we should have some clearing late on Friday evening, and I am more optimistic about Saturday night. I believe we will be able to get some observing in so that anyone coming should be able to see for themselves just how good the sky can be from here - dark and with low horizons. Also, we should have a grand view of the Perseid Meteor Shower late on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

As said before, bunkhouse rental will be $35.00 per spot. If in a camper or rv, the price is also $35.00 per camper/rv, but there is no additional charge for a second or 3rd person. We have not talked price to set up a tent for overnight as of yet.

The grass has been cut in front of the main building and also within the fenced arena to the southwest of the main building. Carol also let me know that if anyone wants to use the pool, it is open for swimming so bring your bathing suit. Within the main building there is also a television with a DVD player and there are some services - Netflix, Hulu, which can be accessed, so I think we are set there. Also the game room with two pool tables, and air hockey. Don't forget about the Perseid Meteor Shower which should be in full swing after midnight Saturday (so Sunday morning).

I will not be bringing a canopy as I plan to spend some down time sitting on the porch watching the world go by and because it will be just one less thing to take down on Sunday morning. I will bring a folding chair.

For the benefit of those that collect phone numbers, the main phone number at White Horse is 601 444-0007. The phone reception is good and they do have internet. Our host and the owner is Carol Nicaud. She is from New Orleans and has been very helpful and she is excited about being able to host the Deep South Star Gaze this coming November.

Questions? Please ask.

Barry Simon