Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oregon Star Party

On Thursday, I went to the Oregon Star Party, which is why I haven't posted in a while. That, and laziness.

What it is, is basically a ton of people come to this place, in the middle of nowhere, in the desert. (Sounds appealing, right?) And then they all camp there, usually in campers, or RVs, or something. The surrounding area is not at all pretty. All there is is dust, rocks, and sad looking sage brush. And then past that is, sort of a forest. Sort of. There was a forest fire several years ago, so it's mostly burned down tree, or at least charred trees, with a couple flowers usually seen as weeds.
Now, why would anyone want to be in the middle of nowhere, in such an ugly place? Well, because they like the stars. A whole lot. There, because there are no city lights, street lights, or anything, and there is also a rule about no lights after dark (unless they're red lights) people have really good night vision, and can see TONS of stars, and the milky way.
Everyone brings their telescopes, and it's very beautiful, even with the naked eye.
During the daytime, there are seminars and activities, which in my opinion, are incredibly boring, but considering the fact that there are usually a bunch of people at them, they must not be boring to everyone.
There are also some things at night, where someone will point out certain stars, constelations and such, and talk about them. Which are nice at first, but then they get a bit dull.
There's a swap meet on Fridays, where people come and sell their stuff, usually telescope equipment. And then there's a shower truck, a coffee stall, and a snack stall, which usually has snowcones, but they didn't bring the snowcone machine this year. Then there are several other little tents and trucks with telescope equipment and the like.
The coffee stall has a couple vegan options, there's the soymilk option for fifty cents extra., and smoothies. However, the smoothies aren't great, it's one of those "Smoothies" where it's just crushed ice and an overly sweet fruit flavored syrup, not to mention the five dollars it costs for a 16 oz, and the$5.50 for the 24 oz. Geeze.

Right, on to the food. I got to be in charge of planning, prepping, shopping, and cooking the food. Which is fine with me, I enjoy planning for some reason. To make cooking in the tiny little kitchen thing easier, I chopped up all of the vegetables for the meals and put them in bags before we left, mixed up all the dry ingredients for the pancakes, and pre-made the breakfast burritos. The first day, before we left, I made the breakfast burritos for everyone.  On the car ride, we had snacks. Chips, almonds, fruit, et cetera. After we got there and unpacked we had some yakisoba for dinner. The next morning, we had hash browns, and sauteed vegetables, with sliced avocado and salsa.  Then for lunch we had dumplings from the Asian market with soy sauce. For dinner, we had minestrone soup with bread. For breakfast, we had these pancakes. (With soymilk replacing the milk, margarine replacing the butter, and 2 T water+1 T oil+2 tsp baking powder for the egg) I double batched it, and it made just enough for six people. They were REALLY good, they were filling, and somehow dense and fluffy at the same time. I made several different kinds, chocolate chip, strawberry, and blueberry, and all combinations. Some of us had maple syrup with our pancakes, others had crushed pineapple, which was great. That will definitely be the recipe I use from now on. For lunch we had hoagie sandwiches, with mustard, Vegennaise, tomato, avocado, and veggie meat. Mmm. Then for dinner we had lemony quinoa-vegetable soup. For the next breakfast we had breakfast burritos again, ate the last of the peaches, and headed home. 

Sorry, no photos. I brought my camera, but my batteries were dead. XP
So if any of you are astronomers, or just really like stars, maybe you'd like to go to the Star Party next year.

Wow, sorry for the huge post.

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