How was last night? (Fremont Peak)

by James Harford

Janet and I camped at Fremont Pk "group" campgrounds. Arrived at about 5 pm. To our surprise there was only one other campsite taken. Not at all what I expected. I did some observing from an empty SW parking lot with a 10" f5.6 Newtonian, but another observer arrived, headlights blazing, an hour after dark. Artificial light was an intermittent problem thereafter. Early in the evening the transparency was good, with a nice Milky way, but this deteriorated markedly after 11 pm on. But I enjoyed very nice views of Mars. While I packed up at 1 am, my neighbor beamed his powerful white flashlight into the sky and the smoke was visible in the beam. I looked closely and there were many fine particles (ash from the fires?) in the light beam.