I really want to go to star parties, but the only one I've managed to make it to is our club's Almost Heaven Star Party in West Virginia. And I had to go to that one because I was signed up as a volunteer. It was a great experience, but I still haven't figured out the whole star party thing. How do people deal with things like:
1. Getting away from work during the week
2. Leaving my sweetie by himself for days on end since he probably doesn't want to be stuck at a star party for a week with a bunch of astronomy geeks he doesn't know
3. Driving anywhere further than a day away by myself (and driving back)
4. Flying, but then having to lug astronomy gear, rent a car and camping gear?
5. Camping by myself for a week
I could see driving somewhere 4-6 hours away, let's say, and maybe going for a long weekend. But anything longer than that and I'd essentially be taking a vacation without himself. Which seems really lame, and not particularly enjoyable. Which kind of limits my options.
I can only figure that people either take their whole families to these things, or their spouse is also an astronomer, or they don't particularly care about their spouse and don't mind spending a whole lot of time apart.
But I think I may have solved at least one of these issues. We got a wild hair and decided to buy a popup camper this weekend! It's about 22 years old, but in quite good nick. And I'm hoping it's going to enable me to -- if not start attending a lot of star parties -- at least get out to somewhere dark with the sweetie, with the camping gear, and with the telescope.