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The Webfooted Astronomer - June 2001

 

Star Party Dates Set for Tiger Mountain's Poo Poo Point

THIS year's dates have been set for SAS star parties at Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain. The first star party will be Saturday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m. The site at Poo Poo Point is on Washington State Department of Natural Resources property located on Highway 18 at the Tiger Mountain summit.

Mark your calendar for these 2001 Poo Poo Point star party dates:

June 23
July 14
August 11
September 8
October 13
November 17
December 8

*** Please call 206-523-2787 by 2:30PM on the above dates for updates regarding time changes or cancellations.***

All of the star parties will be held on the Saturday closest to the Moon, with the exception of June. This will allow us to move the star party to the following Saturday in the event of rain.

Getting there

To get there from Seattle or Bellevue, take I-90 East to the Highway 18 exit past North Bend, travel on Highway 18 until you reach the summit of the pass over Tiger Mountain. At the summit, watch for the turnoff. You'll see a small parking lot and two gated gravel roads leading up the mountainside. The road is suitable for passenger cars. From the gate, it will take about 25-30 minutes to reach the observing site.

Because the site is accessed through a locked gate, everyone will need to meet at a pre-determined time. An SAS member will have the key to open the gate to the observing site. The gate will also need to be unlocked when we leave. For the June star party, we'll meet at the gate at 6:30 p.m.

The observing site

Poo-Poo Point is located on West Tiger Mountain approximately 7.3 miles beyond the gate at an elevation of about 1800 feet. It was cleared and developed as a hang glider launching site.

The upper site, the north launch for hang gliders, has a lot that can accommodate 10-15 cars, and a good viewing area on the knoll used for launching. The ground is too mushy for driving out to the launch point, so you will need to pack your scopes and accessories 50-70 yards from the parking lot.

The site has a composting toilet that was installed and maintained by the hang gliders. (said to be a $30,000 installation).

The south site sits a short distance down the mountain and would require a 5-10 minute hike to get to the toilet. On the plus side, the south side faces south, looking over the largely unpopulated and unlit territory near the Landsburg landfill. East and Southern views should be best from here. The south launch has a large grassy area that should be accessible with cars into the launch site.

The SAS belongs to a select group, including hang glider pilots and parasailers, radio relay tower operators, and timber harvesters, who have been allowed exclusive use of the site. Let's take advantage of the great opportunity. Many thanks to Randy Johnson and George Melendez, who negotiated the use of the site.

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