Greenbank, largest movable single-array radio telescope in the world AND testimonial to Robert Byrd's ability to Pork-Barrel up almost *anything* for WV, is probably going to be shut down. This is very unsciencey and makes me frown, but it will open up spending for cool new stuff like the B-F-A (more politically correct: The Very Large Array) in New Mexico.
I've been trying to get yonder to visit GBT for years, but I don't have friends nerdy enough to go on a multi-hour road trip to visit a "giant dish." Now, perhaps, I do.
I do geek road trips like this frequently, they're always hit or miss. It could be really boring. Or it could be EPIC.
At the worst, you get a nice ride through the mountains with some people who are fun to talk to.
At best, you get to see this:
Look at how sexy it is!
Also, there's the Cass Scenic Railroad for you Harry Potter fans? : )
About 10 miles from Greenbank so we should consider both.
I've scheduled this for October 12 on the off-chance that we might see some pretty leaves and it will have cooled down some, plus my September is booked up with "stuff". It can be moved, though.
I also considered the Greenbrier Bunker, but it's 4 hours away and probably needs an overnight stay to make it worth the hours.
We can rally out of Staunton and take 250 across, which is rough on you folks with light stomachs, or rally in Harrisonburg and take 33/220 to Monterey, which is a beautiful drive.