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GSOC President’s Field Trip: Camp Hancock with the Rose City Astronomers

  • Camp Hancock Field Station (map)

This field trip, organized by GSOC President Paul Edison-Lahm, will focus on the geology of Camp Hancock and the John Day basin. We will be attending an Astronomy Star Party as guests of the Rose City Astronomers and OMSI. 

UPDATE: Registration opened at noon on June 25 and we were sold out by June 29! 

Note: this trip will include two evenings of observing as guests of Rose City Astronomers. Evenings under the stars can be quite cold in September and clear skies are not guaranteed. Conditions at Camp Hancock are primitive. We will be sleeping two nights on thin mattresses on bunkbeds in shared bunkhouses. As the camp is set up for dark sky observing, astronomically appropriate (low-intensity) red LEDs will be provided for navigating in nighttime. Restrooms are 10-50 yards away. No food is allowed in cabins. Cars are off limits at night at because of car lights. Daytime will include hiking over rough terrain in hot weather. Rattlesnakes and ticks have been observed on the trail. Trip leader is alleged to snore.


Friday, Sept. 14

  • Morning: Drive to Clarno Palisades Picnic Area. Please allow approximately 4 hours from Portland Metro area.
  • Noon - 1:00 Lunch at Picnic Area
  • 1:30 Trail of Fossils hike with Dr. Bill Orr (3/4 mile).
  • 3:00 Informal meetup with our Sister Club, Central Oregon Geoscience Society.
  • 4:00 Drive to Camp Hancock Parking Lot. Check in at Barrie Hall and settle in to our assigned cabins. Food can be stored in Barrie Hall.
  • 6:00 Dinner with Rose City Astronomers
  • 7:00 Astronomy Orientation with Yara Green, RCA Outreach VP
  • 8:00 Telescope Observing if weather clear, else social time in Barrie Hall.

Saturday, Sept. 15

  • Breakfast with our sleepier RCA comrades.
  • Lecture with Dr. Nick Famoso: this lecture will be similar to the one he gave at our picnic.
  • Hike to Historic Nut Beds with Nick. Some may want to continue on to hike the entire GeoLoop trail.
  • Informal discussion/fossil identification with Bill Orr in "Lon's Lab"
  • Hike to Hancock Tree with Bill Orr
  • Dinner
  • Bill Orr lecture: Geology and Paleontology of the John Day Basin  
  • Telescope Observing if weather clear, else social time in Barrie Hall.

Sunday, Sept. 16

  • Gather breakfast/lunch fixings.
  • Drive to Fossil Paleo Lands Institute to meet additional Sunday participants
  • Karyn Patridge lecture: John Day volcanology
  • Drive Highway 19 with stops in Sheep Rock Unit to Thomas Condon Paleontology Center; ending at Mascall Overlook.
  • Return on Highway 26 or have dinner and overnight in Mitchell.

Cost: $250

Trip cost includes two nights food and lodging at Camp Hancock. Registration opens at noon on June 25. Limited to GSOC members and their guests only. If you have questions, please call Paul at 971-404-6064.

Many thanks to Celestron for their generous donation of their Night Vision LED Flashlights that we’ll be using on the trip.