So I had some days off mid-week, and wanted to get out and take some photos. I knew Moab was an 8-9 hour drive, but that would still leave some time to revisit the parks there, and hopefully get some photography in. There are some of the darkest skies in the country there, and I was hoping to get some landscape photos with stars.
I arrived at Arches National Park near sunset. It was cloudy, and I hurried to get my little tent set up before dark. Nice thing about visiting the parks in the winter….no crowds, plenty of campsites. After some cold leftovers and a cup of hot chamomile tea, it was dark and I was in bed by 7pm. I checked the sky at 2am, still cloudy with the 1/2 moon glowing thru the clouds. No pictures of stars tonight. At 5am, still dark, I heard the faint patter of raindrops on my tent fly. I was packed up within 15 minutes and on the road before the rain really started. I took some shots of landscape in the rain, holding my umbrella in one hand, over my camera. Nothing too great.
Well, hotels rooms are plentiful and less expensive in the winter, so I got a room for the next night, and with no waiting, I was able to check in and get a hot shower at 9 a.m. Off to explore the parks. The day cleared, with blue skies so I was hoping for a clear night. I set the alarm for 2am the next morning, and was back in Arches N.P. by 3am and headed to Balanced Rock. The 1/2 moon provided some light, and allowed some stars to show, but the clouds were coming in again. But, I got a picture…..one of my new all-time favorites.
At 5am I headed off to Canyonlands N.P. and Mesa Arch for the sunrise shot. With some clearing on the horizon, I was hoping I would get the photo that so many other people already have. In the middle of the excitement of the sunrise I just stopped and stood back, just to take it all in. Spectacular.