OSP 2003 drew 900 participants, our largest attendance yet! Some think it was Mars fever that caused it, others believe it has more to do with OSP's continuing visibility as one of the Nation's best star parties-- especially if one qualifies that statement with the fact-- "one of the Nation's very best dark-sky star parties."
This year's Photo features 163 folks, and one great cat, which may be the first astro-cat to appear in the fourteen year history of the OSP Group Photo! Here's an interesting story-- My old high school friend Greg H. from Bend is right up front in the dark red shirt, accompanied by his boy.. Greg and I were lost to one another for decades-- until he rediscovered me in 2002 standing atop my ladder taking the 2002 Group Picture! Neither of us knew the other was "into" astronomy! Greg is very active with Pine Mountain Observatory.
Below is a close-up of the extreme back fringe of the OSP 2003 Group. This is a portion of the group, unfortunately, that is often hard to see in the normal 8x10 Group Photos that we sell... Among those seen (left to right) are Directors Chuck and Judy Dethloff on the left, Hulan Fleming (astro artist) in the center with the balding head; Wes Stone, Bill J., and Candace P (long-time OSP Door Prize director).
2003 was the year of Oregon's momentous "B&B" Fire, the Bear-Booth Fire Complex, which burned for a month, unfortunately mucking-up our night skies to a variable extent across the 3-6 nights of our star party. Below are late afternoon shots, dramatic, interesting, but portending poor viewing, at least during the first half of the night. I'm in the picture on the right, with my refractor on its home-made pipe mount, that I made back in 1989 and it's still going strong. Probably will outlast me!