RRAC event memoirs

by Don Lewis
This falls RRAC "Burger Burn turned out very well.
I did get there after dark Thursday evening.
I walked around and enjoyed others. That night something made the sky
thick about horizon to 40 degrees up. Thursday night Roy walks up
to a group of us and started out with "did someone read the post by that
guy that claims he saw the Veil with binoculars?". I chose to speak up
at that point before it got nasty (humor intended) and said I was
the guy.
Well that started it. Any one with bino's got to looking for the Veil
to see if I was a raving idiot or what. As it turned out the Veil was
confirmed by everyone that chose to look. Lots of "never would have
thought it's". Needless to say I felt better about my post. Friday
night the newcomers were reminded by someone about that posted message
and they too had to see for themselves.
I set up my scope Friday. We had smoked pork and baked potatoes, rolls
and dutch oven made cobbler for dinner, YUM! As dusk rolled in we all
began prepping our scopes and equipment. It was mostly the local members
and myself until Jason Wallawine, Danny and John Reed came in Friday
afternoon. The nights sky was incredible. So much that I forgot all about
Okie-Tex for the most part. I stayed up as late Friday as my aching body
would allow.
Through out the day Saturday more folks slowly arrived. The Sorrows
family,  Chris and Thomas, Jim Fisher and others. Three or four from
AOAS arrived.
There were over a dozen scopes of all flavors by Saturday evening. Once
again we had a perfect night of superb skies. The evenings / nights did
get very cool but not unbearable. I was prepared for wide temperature
swings anyway.
Before dinner Jim Fisher presented his IDA inaugural to a
large group of attendees. I think he received favorable results.
I should mention that RRAC out did themselves again for the dinner
Saturday afternoon. Smoked burgers with all the fixins, potatoe salad,
some outrageously delicious bean chili with dutch oven cornbread
prepared by Dick Waldrep who also made the two dutch oven cobblers for
desert. Dick is a real keeper. He is just now getting into astronomy and
is a fine person to share with.
That night was again excellent for viewing. Objects practically jumped
right out at you. My personal all time favorite object was Orion's
M42. It was BANG! out there in my 18". It offered beautiful detail of
nebulosity in Wess's 6" TEC refractor with a bino attachment. For me
in the 18" I could clearly see the neighbors M43 and the details of the
running man in M78. But still my highest moment was after easily splitting
the illusive doubles in the Trapezium region to six stars with my 7mm
T6 Nagler I then placed my 24mm Panoptic in the eyepiece for a wider view.
After careful study there appeared streams of tiny pinpoint stars almost
hidden from view by the nebulous cloud next to the Trap... They were
beautiful, something I have never seen before in person or in images. I
had the few remaining viewers have a look and they too had ooh ahh
reactions to these tiny beautiful stars. Checking today I can't find those
stars even in Hubble's Trapezium images.
Packed up Sunday morning and got home about 2:30pm. It is about
a 2 or more  hour drive from Little Rock.

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