Wednesday, November 20, 2013

California Meteor Shower

Vermilion Resort
Originally uploaded by danamight

meteor showers and comets

Fair weather means anytime is a good time to watch the sky.

The high Sierra Nevada is the place to really enjoy the show in summer camping out, but winter means snow is likely and a cabin rental might be a better choice, or grab a guest room at a rustic lodge like this one photographed above.

Meteor showers are best viewed after 2AM, so you first need to decide if you are "a stay up late", or "wake up early" kinda person. Partying and drinking in the early evening means the excitement will be worn off and you will be dozing after midnight, missing the entire possibility of seeing any grazers. Taking a nap in the early afternoon before might help your odd sleep schedule adjust but be prepared to kick up the caffeine when you want to take in the awesome night views.

Mount Pinos and Mount Abel are both popular SoCal spots for annual star parties - tent campers and motorhomes alike. Palomar Mountain is another fine alpine destination. Most all desert parks are excellent sites to view the night skies with minimal moisture the stars appear super brilliant. Mojave Preserve, Red Rock, Death Valley, Anza Borrego, Mecca Box Canyon, Joshua Tree, the list is endless.

campers tips - 
look for open sky at camp spots, few trees
meadow side camp sites, ridge lines
bring a sturdy cot & blankets
use red lens on flashlights
low light campfire (coals, no flames)

cabin rental tips -
lake cabins have open sky views
bring snow chains for the tires
dress warm, bring jackets, hats, gloves
take your portable lounge chairs
remember snacks and hot drinks
compare local motel prices (some have cottages)

You might need to drive inland for clear night skies. Deserts are best.
way outta of the city destinations
Alpine locations are excellent spots for star gazing, if it's not snowing.