Dark Skies and Astronomy


Guests should arrive at 2:00pm Friday afternoon and get settled into their cabin(s) before embarking on the afternoon agenda described below. We will start with an introductory discussion and overview of equipment. In addition to the structured agenda items presented below, there will be free time in which you can enjoy some of Twistflower’s features, including the swimming pool (as weather permits), full size pool table, big screen TV, hiking trails, peaceful surroundings and views, relaxation areas, or the privacy of your cabin.

Our Leader
Our Astronomy Weekend will be led by Steve Rippstein. Steve grew up in Corpus Christi and still resides in the area. His interest in astronomy began at a young age, building his first 6” reflector telescope at age 13 and joining the Corpus Christi Astronomical Society at 14. From that first star filled view through a 10” Newtonian telescope, he was hooked on the wonders of the night sky. Through the years he graduated from UT Austin with a BBA in Marketing, had four children who reside from Austin to Quito, Ecuador, but always maintained his interest in astronomy.



Astronomy Weekends:

April 13 - 15, 2018
May 11 - 13, 2018
August 3 - 5, 2018
October 5 - 7, 2018

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Astronomy Weekend Itinerary


Friday Afternoon / Night
Guests will arrive at Twistflower around 2:00 on Friday afternoon. You will get settled into your cabin, and then meet and greet each other, Mike and Steve. Steve will lead a discussion of your star gazing experience/history, including the types of viewing devices you have used. He will discuss the equipment you will be using at Twistflower and its attributes. We will have supper and then you will proceed to the viewing area where Steve will have his telescopes set up.

Saturday Morning
We will have breakfast at a mutually agreed upon time, accounting for your night viewing. After breakfast, for those that are interested, Mike will discuss the history of the ranch going back to how the landform that is the ranch was created up through the present time. He will conduct a tour of the Native American sites on the ranch for those interested in seeing them.

Saturday Afternoon
After lunch, you will have free time to enjoy the amenities of Twistflower, including the swimming pool, big screen TV, pool table, or just relax on the expansive porches of the lodge and/or your cabin. If anyone is interested, Mike can show you the Native American rock art and stone etchings that are at the ranch. Steve will also discuss the latest astronomical “discoveries and theories”.

Saturday Night
You will go back to the viewing area to enjoy the dark skies of Twistflower Ranch.

Sunday Morning
Mike will serve brunch, during and after which you can discuss with him and Steve the weekend, covering any questions you might have.