by Jane Smith
It was without a doubt the chilliest night I've observed. It was bitter cold. I suspect it was somewhere in the mid to high 20's. Alvin had 24 degrees on his thermometer at one time. Jim's glass of Mountain Dew was a chunk of ice by the time he left. Our fingertips and noses numb.
There was a small breeze, not enough to bother the dobs, but enough to add a nasty wind chill factor. I was wearing everything I owned and was still cold. Thank God for Gene Kahn and Bill Chandler. They had their RV heaters running which saved us all from becoming pillars of ice. I never knew 60 degrees could feel so good? A special thanks to host extraordinaire, Gene Kahn, for the French Roast coffee and Half-and-Half.
Skies were very dark and transparent, but seeing was awful. Stars looked like fuzzy blobs. In between trips to Gene's trailer or socializing with the troupes, I spent my time on large, bright objects. I think the best view of the night was of the Pleiades in my finderscope. ;) Ed, Gene, and I also had a good look at the Horsehead through an h-Beta on my 18".
Despite the low temperatures, everyone had a great time standing around whining about the cold and bad-mouthing Gary, Brian, and Jamie for being such wimps. To be honest, I think they were the SMART ones, to stay in their warm houses with movies and popcorn,
We started bailing about 11pm, all except Shneor who was putting on more layers and still going strong when I pulled out at 11:45pm, and Gene who planned to spend the night in his spiffy new trailer.
Next time I'll bring more clothes when the mercury is forecast to droop into the freezing zone. Two layer of polyester, 2 layers of fleece, bib overalls, a hooded parka, a fleece balaclava, insulated boots with chemical warmers, and double-layer fleece gloves wasn't enough!