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Dark Sky Gathering in the Oregon Outback
September 28 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
PLAYA is hosting the first annual Dark Sky Gathering in the Oregon Outback, featuring artist in residence Mary Stewart Adams as Star Lore Historian on Saturday night, September 28, with terrific storytelling of the stars!
More about the event:
PLAYA staff are joining forces with experts in dark-sky gazing to host PLAYA’s first official Dark Sky Gathering September 27 – 29, 2019. We’ll explore Oregon’s fall constellations, principles of astrophotography, the Milky Way, the deep silence of night on the playa, and other wonderful aspects of life in the sparsely populated Oregon Outback.
Since its founding, PLAYA has provided residencies to hundreds of artists and scientists. The 75–acre property includes six fully equipped and spacious cabins, two fully equipped live/work studios, three studio/research spaces (including one shared living quarters), a large open shed/studio, and outdoor field research areas. Access to most facilities is barrier-free.The Commons, a central gathering building, has a communal kitchen, dining room, fireplace room, an outdoor terrace, and two adjacent spaces for presentations, projects, or dance. The Commons also houses PLAYA’s office and laundry facilities. As the central gathering space, the Commons offers limited Internet, a landline telephone, a developing library, communal recreation area, and space for food preparation and dining.
Located at the northwestern edge of the Great Basin in south-central Oregon, PLAYA sits at the base of Winter Ridge, which rises to 7,200 feet. PLAYA’s campus, at an elevation of 4,200 feet, borders Summer Lake to the west and includes a large pond, wetlands, grass fields, and walking paths. Summer Lake is 20 miles long and five miles wide and is defined as a playa, which is a seasonal desert lake, shallow in the winter and spring, and dry in the summer and fall. Weather varies with wind, snow, rain, and sun.
At the north end of Summer Lake, the state-owned Summer Lake Wildlife Refuge is one of the finest desert wetlands in Oregon. It is a destination for birds and birders year-round. The surrounding semi-arid terrain has diverse wildlife and a varied geology. Fifteen-thousand years of human use of the Summer Lake basin has left a rich record of human habitation.
Lake County, with a population of about 8,000 and over 8,000 square miles, is Oregon’s only county without a stoplight. Ranching, outdoor recreation, government land management, and a developing alternative energy industry provide the region’s economic base.
PLAYA, rural and remote from many services, is located on Highway 31, two hours southeast of Bend, Oregon, one hour north of Lakeview and five hours northwest of Reno, Nevada. The nearest commercial airport is in Redmond, 17 miles north of Bend.
(photo by John Hill)