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Take my Parents to see the Stars

Published July 17th, 2012

I've been living in Oregon for four years now and have come to love this place dearly. Finally, this week, my parents have come out for their first visit to Oregon. We all agreed a night under the stars was a must-happen kind of thing. We drove about 5 hours out into Central Oregon up to the Pine Mountain Observatory. I really didn't care to show them the view of the telescopes (they're difficult to see out of and somewhat old), but really just wanted to take them up the hill to see the stars and Milky Way as it should be seen with little light pollution and clear sky. The hilltop is about 6000ft and has a 360 degree view, the highest point back home in New Jersey is about 105ft, so *laughing* this was a special treat!

My mom was a little freaked about walking up in the dark, but we made it up. It was very windy, but low wall rock shelters make perfect windbreaks and spots to sit or lie down and look at the stars.


Pine Mountain Observatory

We went to the Pine Mountain Observatory for our star gazing location. This is the 24" telescope. It's open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer.


My Mom's first time ever seeing the Milky Way

My mom has never seen the Milky Way before. I could see it showing up in the sky while driving, so I pulled over and had them all get out to see the view. It was awesome :-)


First shot ever of the Aurora!

Color and bands of light filled the camera view finder on the first shot. It was UH-mazing.
My Dad, Mom, and Valorie were all like, "WHooaaaaa!! ooohhh!!"
It was funny, I'm sure the observatory visitors down below were wondering what was going on up on the hill *laughing*


Mom and Pop

I hadn't picked this spot for its' epic photo ops, but for the clear view of the stars, so without much foreground to pick for images, I told my mom and dad to get together for a picture. I love my mom's smile in this one :-)


Me and my Lady

Valorie and I together. This was our second night in a row of shooting stars and not sleeping. Two nights of no sleep and this is how your smile looks, lol



My dad was loving the view and the process of light painting. He used to do long exposure night photography back in the film days. When I showed him how to light paint a scene- he geeked out and jumped right in. We had a blast :-)


Pops and the Aurora


with family


Artsy Aurora

It's obviously called Pine Mountain for a reason ;-)


I love the stars

I could hang out here every night :-)

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Carlos Mora  over 5 years ago

Good work, loved the story.

Steven Blackmon  almost 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this, Ben......way cool to get your 'rents up there to share the joy that you so obviously feel.