Celestial Navigator for September 2015

Supermoon Rising
Supermoon Risin September 3 – Neptune at Opposition. The blue giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Neptune. Due to its extreme distance from Earth, it will only appear as a tiny blue dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.

September promises lots of exciting night sky activity – ideal for camping and stargazing.  The first half of this month will bring us great views of Mercury and Neptune, a new moon, and a partial eclipse!  During the latter half of the month, the September (autumnal) Equinox occurs, and the fall Supermoon – also known as the Harvest Moon. Perhaps most exciting of all – a total lunar eclipse for North America at the end of the month.

  • September 4Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 27 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
  • September 13New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 06:41 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
  • September 13Partial Solar Eclipse. A partial solar eclipse occurs when the Moon covers only a part of the Sun, sometimes resembling a bite taken out of a cookie. A partial solar eclipse can only be safely observed with a special solar filter or by looking at the Sun’s reflection. The partial eclipse will only be visible in southern Africa, Madagascar, and Antarctica. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)
  • September 23September Equinox. The September equinox occurs at 08:21 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • September 28Full Moon, Supermoon. CNlBALCWEAAoIbUThe Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 02:50 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Corn Moon because the corn is harvested around this time of year. This moon is also known as the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the September equinox each year. This is also the second of three supermoons for 2015. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual. This will be the closest full moon of the year.
  • September 28Total Lunar Eclipse. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes completely through the Earth’s dark shadow, or umbra. During this type of eclipse, the Moon will gradually get darker and then take on a rusty or blood red color. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of North and South America, Europe, Africa, and western Asia.
excerpts from seasky.org

End of Summer Photo Contest!

End of Summer Photo Contest!

Win a brand new PahaQue Cottonwood Shade Shelter!

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Calling all PahaQue customers – now that another summer is winding down, let’s take a moment to share and reflect on our favorite summer camping photos!  The winner will receive a PahaQue Cottonwood 10×10 Shade Shelter, and 2 runners-up will win a PahaQue Tent Rug!  Here’s how to enter:

  1. Only summer-camping related photos will be considered
  2. Photos should be no larger than 1200 x 1200 pixels
  3. Submit your photos here in the PahaQue Camping Experts Blog, or by emailing them to happytrails@pahaque.com.
  4. Include a short description of your photo, as well as the location of the photo
  5. BE SURE to include your contact information with each submission.
  6. Deadline to submit photos is September 20, 2015
  7. Winners will be announced on Friday, September 25!  Announcement will be made here as well as on our Facebook page.

Thanks for joining and good luck!

 

Al Foran 2 Art DeLeon 4 Bill Piper 3 - Copy

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D Hemmingway 2

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Donna Zitzelberger a 3 Fred Bailey 3 Jenn Kirk 2 Jennifer Lynn Joan 4 John McMinn 3 John Wright Judy Orick Judy Whittaker Julie Buege 3 Katherine Katherine' Kenny Rzonka 2 Kenny Rzonka

our camp

Shawn & Brett eating a snack

Mark Jernigan Ryan Willmore 5 sonja hagmeyer 3 Susan Elwood suzanne cobern van veen 4 Toni Eaton 3 Toni Eaton a 3 Vera Morgan 4

Cooky Jason’s September Recipe – Lamb Burgers

010115_mediterranean-lamb-burger-recipe_largeWell the end of summer draws nigh. But that’s OK. Soon we’ll all be drinking/eating pumpkin-spice EVERYthing. And football is gearing up which brings its own genre of cookout favorites (as long as weather permits, of course) as mainstays such as hearty chili and beef stews have the dust brushed off their recipe pages. Until then, however, it’s time for one last summer hurrah…

You can’t go wrong with burgers at the campsite, right? The combination of beef and lamb here along with the magical basil sauce make these a bit unique, yet still easy to make, and guaranteed crowd-pleasers. Serve with watermelon wedges and a nice summer ale or fresh lemon-limeade and enjoy the last 3 weeks of summer while you can!

Major players

  • 1lb ground beef (80/20)
  • 1lb ground lamb
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of salt and pepper

Magical Basil Sauce

  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Juice and zest from 1 large lemon

For the burgers:

OK, let’s do this. Using 2 different meats really adds a lot of depth profile in the flavor. If you can’t get ground lamb just use ground pork. Using your hands, thoroughly combine the beef and lamb in a large mixing bowl, then add the olive oil and salt and pepper and combine. You’ll get 6 to 7 burgers out of this, depending on how big you make them. Start by forming a giant meatball. Then slowly compress your hands while rolling it between your palms until a patty is formed. Then use your thumb to press an indent into the middle. If you’re taking these to the campsite, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or wax paper and keep chilled until ready. You can also freeze them if it makes them easier to transport for you.

Cook on grill over medium-high heat about 3 ½ minutes per side. About a minute before removing from grill, add a slice of your chosen cheese. Mozzarella loves basil…

Serve on toasted sesame seed or ciabatta buns. Using good bread here really makes a hug difference, so it’s worth it to choose a higher quality bun to go with all the love that just went into the burgers themselves, don’t you think?

Magical Basil Sauce:

Blend all ingredients until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust by adding salt and pepper if needed. You can do this several days ahead of time if you like. Just make sure it’s plenty chilled while transporting. Spoon over burgers and finish off with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc… Or leave them veggie-less and let the lamb really be the star. Perfection.

This is our last newsletter recipe of the summer and we’ve had a truly fantastic summer and I hope all of you did, too! Feel free to share/email me pictures of our recipes when you try them.

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

The Gear Doctor – September 2015

The Gear Doctor – Camping With Kidscamping4

 Camping can be the most enjoyable trip for kids, or it can be the most boring.  In this day of electronics, kids are always busy with something at home.  Rule #1: no electronics allowed on camping trips.  Getting to know nature and creating memories will stay with your child longer than playing video games.

Some fun activities include:

  1. Do It Yourself First Aid Kit: cartoon bandaids, bug towlettes, antiseptic wipes, calamine lotion, and gauze pads.  The Dollar store is a great place to get a themed zipper case and all the ingredients for the kit.  As your child puts the kit together,  teach him/her what each item is used for.
  1. Make your own bubbles:

To make your bubble mixture:

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water, stirring really well.  Then gently stir in the remaining ingredients.  Avoid creating a lot of froth.  Allow your mixture to sit for at least an hour, stirring occasionally if you see the cornstarch settling to the bottom.

To make your bubble wand:

 I used two drinking straws, and a length of yarn that was 6 to 8 times longer than the length of one straw.  Thread the yarn through the straws, tie a knot, and you’re good to go!

  1. Make papier mache:

Start with one cup water and one cup flour.  Mix together in a large flat bowl until smooth.  Tear 1” strips of newspaper and dip into mixture.  You can use plastic cups, blown up balloons, or things found in nature, such as pinecones as your base.  Place wet strips over the base and smooth out.  Continue layering strips until you have the desired thickness.  Allow to dry overnight.  Paint or decorate with leaves, twigs, and tiny pinecones, using plain white glue.  You’ll need to bring watercolors and brushes if you decide to paint it….cleanup is easy!

  1. Make your own trail mix. You’ll need ziplock bags, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, chocolate or butterscotch chips, pretzels, etc.  Let your child use a small cup to measure each ingredient and place into the bag.
  1. Look at trail maps close to the camping area. There may even be some right in the campground.  Take a hike to a fun destination such as a waterfall.  Don’t overdo or try to do too many miles in a day.  For a beginning hiker under 5, 2 miles round trip is plenty.  For an older child up to age 10, 3 or 4 miles is OK.  Have a daypack ready for your child, and have him/her fill it with trail mix, water bottle (a must!),  first aid kit and box juices.  Camera and binoculars are optional but fun.  If you see wildlife, these items will come in handy.  DO NOT approach wildlife or attempt to feed it.  Feel free to use a cell phone video setting to capture some live action.  Hiking will tire your child and they will sleep well at night!
  2. Don’t forget games: playing cards, jigsaw puzzles, yarn kits, and collecting jars for bugs and leaves.  When you get home, you can press leaves between wax paper and place between two towels.  Iron on low to melt the wax paper around the leaves, and your child has a lasting memory from the hike.  Remember to PLAY with your child on a camping trip, and you will all have an enjoyable, happy memory!

We are very pleased to have Anita Hudson Easton back on our writing staff as author of our monthly Gear Doctor.  Anita is a 30 year veteran of the Outdoor Industry and is an expert in the design, manufacturing, care and maintenance of outdoor gear!