Early Sunday afternoon Tony and I followed a fellow Green Bank Star Quest II participant to Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia. It was approximately 45 minutes from Green Bank. On the way up the mountain we stopped first at the Mountain Institute, a rather interesting and unusual place and the site of the Almost Heaven Star Party - http://www.novac.com/AHSP/index.php - that occurred in June. Tony had registered for the event but decided not to go due to the poor weather conditions. Speaking of weather condtions, we saw a number of conflicting weather reports on the Internet before leaving the observatory so we weren't really expecting to stay the night on the mountain.
We then went to the Gatewood campground (see http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/mnf/rec/rog_campgr..._campground.htm for further information). Two NOVAC members had been observing there the night before. The NOAA weather radio report called for clear skies despite Hurricane Dennis. (As we now know, Dennis lost steam and traveled well to the west before turning northward.) We decided to take a chance and set up camp. Since there were already 15 and 18" Obsession Dobs in the observing area, Tony didn't bother to unpack his 14.5" Starmaster. However, I readied my Tele Vue refractor and Melissa did the same with a 10" Orion Dob.
Tony, Melissa, and I drove up to the summit of Spruce Knob in my vehicle and had a fine time walking the nature trail and admiring the view from an observation platform. We drove back to Gatewood just before sunset. Tony took a nap while Melissa and I made coffee and espresso and filled thermos bottles with said liquids.
I rested for a bit and then ventured out of the tent. I could see Jupiter and a few stars but the skies were anything but clear. The transparency was very poor. Unfortunately, the Clear Sky Clock had been right in its prediction. There were occasional patches of somewhat clear sky and I observed about a dozen of the best targets of opportunity with my refractor and the 10". These included Albireo, Omicron Cygni, M8, M11, M13, M27, and M57.
The next day on our return trip we drove northward through the Potomac Valley and stopped briefly at Seneca Rocks.
There are photos of Spruce Knob and Seneca Rocks posted at http://www.ferenzi.com/maddie/pict/wva/mou...n/mountain.html