I went to my first public night with the Analemma Society on Dec 9th at Turner Farm park in Great Falls. It was an amazing experience. A friend and I went thinking it would just be a typical astronomy meetup, in a field, with a few enthusiasts and their scopes (since this was our first meetup, we had no idea, but this seemed like a reasonable expectation). In reality, the Analemma society had just opened their roll-top observatory, with three permanently mounted telescopes, all open to the public.
Recently, I've taken up an interest in Astronomy. My folks acquired an Orion Skyview Deluxe 6" EQ telescope last year (basically a older version of this bad boy), and after some time collecting dust, I grabbed it and and started teaching myself the ropes. I was inspired to start the hobby after spending an evening looking at the Star Walk app, which came a week after I had watched the movie Contact (for the umteenth time).