One of my favorite pastimes is looking up on a clear night’s sky and seeing thousands of stars. The Boom or Bust Byway offers some amazing spots to get away from the city lights and enjoy the night sky. It doesn’t matter if you have a telescope, binoculars, or your eyes, you are in for one of the most spectacular sights the Byway has to offer. You can find multiple spots on the 136-mile Byway, but I will share my favorite places to stargaze.
My go-to spot for any astronomical event is North Caddo Recreation Area—located on Hwy 2 at the Red River. The area has plenty of parking, picnic tables, and a boat launch. I have come here many times for meteor showers, stargazing, and astrophotography.
The next spot is Hwy 3049 near Gilliam. It brings you through rural farmland with places to pull over and grab an excellent photo of the milky way or take in the night views.
For the last spot, I suggest getting out on the Byway and camping, my favorite way to stargaze. Check out my previous blog, 5 Camping Spots You Didn’t Know You Needed to Explore on the Byway.
If you are new to this here are a few tips to make the most of your stargazing, always be sure to let your eyes adjust to the dark after getting out of your car. This should take about 15 minutes. Look at what phase the moon is in. You can go on a night with a full moon, but it is not ideal if you want the best viewing conditions. Lastly, if you are like me, you need all the help you can get. My favorite astronomy app to use is SkyView. You can download it for free from the Andriod or Apple store.
Be sure to mark these meteor showers on your calendar.
- Lyrids will peak on the night between April 21-22
- Eta Aquarids will peak on the night between May 5-6
- Perseids will peak on the night between August 12-13
- Draconids will peak on the night between October 8-9
- Orionids will peak on the night between October 20-21
- Leonids will peak on the night between November 16-17
- Geminids will peak on the night between Dec 13–14
The Perseids (Aug. 12-13) or Geminids (Dec. 13–14) are two of the brightest and most spectacular meteor showers to see. With the Perseids producing around 60-100 meteors per hour and the Geminids having about 100-120 per hour, you are in for a show. So, grab a buddy, some coffee, get out on the Boom or Bust Byway, and discover the beauty of the cosmos.