Balls 2013 in September

Forums Archives Archives 2013 Balls 2013 in September

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    I am working on an idea and want to see if their is any interest. Last year I was fortunate to be able to go to Balls in Gerlach, Nevada. We left on a Wednesday night, drove all night long and arrived in Gerlach on Thursday afternoon. Launching was on Friday and Saturday, Sunday was cancelled due to weather, so we left about noon on Sunday and were back in norhtern Colorado on Monday morning. We drove about 2200 miles, and stayed at Bruno’s motel, eating all of our meals but 1, at Bruno’s or on the highway. It cost me about $700 as I recall, maybe a little less.

    The goal of this idea is to get there and not spend as much money. More people can make it less expensive. Would anybody be interested? This is open to all rocketeers, and if and when you read this and you think you would like to participate let me know, and also pass this around to other rocketeers.

    The method: We rent a 50 passenger motor coach/bus and a 26 foot U-Haul box truck. (We could also get an enclosed trailer and pull that behind the truck if we need to) We drive all night. Some of us will have to volunteer to drive the truck in teams of two so they can carry cargo. From what I have been able to research this Saturday night, what I have just described will cost about $15,000. With say 52 people involved, this is less than $300 per person. We can carry rockets under the bus, and we carry a full truck full of gear. We camp on the Playa. Some will not want to so some can get reservations at Bruno’s. The rest stay either in tents or we get some of those big wall tents/ garage’s from Sam’s Club. Those are about $250 apiece, ball park and with two, or maybe three of them we might be able to sleep ok and have shelter/cover where we prepare our rockets. If we can prepare menu’s we can cook our meals in a big kitchen and bring all our food with us in ice chests. I have cooked on camping trips for several hundred people at a time, but it works good if we have a kitchen for every 25 peoples, so two kitchens for 50 people. Hot breakfast and dinner, snacks or sandwiches for lunch. With a bit of imagination and effort, we can rig up a set-up fpr hot showers, also, so we can wash the playa off at the end of the day.

    Anybody intersted. I am also thinking of Tripoli Colorado, or any other rocket clubs in the state or anyone in the region who would want to meet up with us. We can start in Denver and pick-up people at pick-up locations along the Front Range, going north, as far as Wellington, before we cut over to US287 and head for Laramie.

    If anyone wants to help in the planning if this gets off the ground, we will be looking for volunteers.


    Love the idea, trying to coordinate this will be a headache and not to be negative but I don’t think you’ll be able to get 52 people, my guess is about 20 or so. You may also add an option as a transportation service for rockets / towers/ motors etc that can’t be flown out. For me my vacation time is often too limited and driving sucks too much away so I have previously flown out and rented an RV to camp on the playa, can’t remember the cost but it was nice to be out there at night vs Bruno’s. If you do end up doing this option I think you could easily arrange a transportation fee that people who fly out could pay a transport fee for motors / rocktes that may help defray costs from this trip. Good luck, I like the idea.-Sean


    I was also thinking the bus could be a shuttle to take people to and from Bruno’s or the restaurant, for breakfast and dinner if they did not want to cook or be involved with the camping. The bus would run $3.00 a mile and so to do the shuttle thing, we would have to figure that in or charge for each way of the shuttle, but we would need to come up with enough people to pay for the $72 for the round trip commute.

    I am looking for showers right now.


    I did some further research and found that I can get mobile showers delivered to the site, starting at 6 showers ina trailer up to 14 showers in a trailer, with generators for power and heating, along with water supplies also. I have not looked into the price yet, but I am thinking that showers could be sold out there also, if people are interested. I am just thinking outloud and will drop this idea if there are not enough people interested. As for the bus, I was thinking anybody related to rockets, or is part of a team can join on the bus trip. You might spend 24-36 hours more in travel time over flying, but you might not have to drive unless you volunteer for the truck. So you read, watch movies, talk to others and relax on a long drive that is open to anybody, up tp 52 people, on a first come first serve basis. Aslo go to to see what the rules for the event are.

    Warren B. Musselman

    Oh god… total debauchery… Showers even….a bus, a trailer… I assume a kegerator would be a part of this event?


    No keggers except if the money and desire is there. I have no plans on going in the hole for this thing. Also, I have had to kick people off in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night for puking all over other people who were trying to sleep. I have no desire to have to do it again, so we are going to be considerate of others. Any profits I will put into the club or the debauchery. FWIW, the bus is Greyhound type, not a party bus with strippers and stripper poles. I do not have any interest or desire to get a divorce. They are too expensive, take up too much time, and I happen to like my wife. Is that OK with you?

    Warren B. Musselman

    I wasn’t thinking strippers… they’ve been boring since I was about 26…. Now Cubans, a decent homebrew, a nice bourbon and some good conversation over interesting topics… I’m there.


    Ok, I can do that, but there are hesitations with the Cubans. Seems to me after a couple of days of smoking them, the air seems to get rather stale and smells bad. A week of that might be tough. On the other hand, the owners of said coach may not allow smoking in there carriage. If the Cubans are not allowed along with other forms of aroma generation, would you still be willing. IN my past, taking 18 hour trips in said coaches, I found a good book and classical music from the headphones with some magic elixer poured into a can of beverage was a good way to pass the time. If we had good enough conversation, I could forgo the book and musica. What say you?


    If we did not stop for food, and only stopped about every four hours to change driving teams in the truck and get gas, we might be able to get close to straight though and if there were outlets in the bus, we could have a microwave, an ice chest, and a coffee pot. That could make it a bit more enjoyable on a duration exercise. I am hoping that everything pays for itself, break-even or a little profit and a tip for the drivers of the bus. This would be true for the showers which might be paid for by people wanting to take showers who are not part of our party. If so, we might be able to get by, with food and other expenses at less than $400 per person, round trip. Bring your own camping gear, and your rockets. For BALLS, it is normally if you need it bring it. For this group it might be if you need it, put it on the list of things to bring so that it does not get duplicated a bunch of times. Does this seem doable?

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