We kicked off the Labor Day weekend by heading back to Arch Rock in Joshua Tree for some camping and more astrophotography. The previous time I went was during the Perseid Meteor shower, but the conditions weren’t ideal since the moon was mostly out. However, this time around everything was perfect; we had good weather, clear skies, and the moon was nowhere in sight!
Unfortunately for us, we arrived at the park pretty late and weren’t able to secure any of the campsites. Mat and Splinter did some makeshift camping by setting up on the roof of my car with blankets and pillows. The stars were really shining bright and we could easily see the galactic center of the Milky Way. As we admired the star-filled sky, we took some photos by the car and ate some pizza from Pie for the People, a local pizza joint in Joshua who make some really good pizza! Mat decided to stay by the car and stargaze while I went back to Arch Rock to take some photos there.
Almost no one was at the rock when I got there, so I found a good spot to take my shots. I didn’t notice at the time but I ended up staying there for about four hours; time really flies when you’re doing long exposure shots! I also climbed to the highest point of the arch, which was actually pretty scary. The lower part of the rock isn’t so bad, but the arch was much narrower compared to other parts of the rock, so I really had to concentrate on not losing my balance in the darkness. Climbing down was another challenge as I had little grip on my way down; I pretty much slid down on my belly while hugging the rock for dear life.
But all of that was totally worth it! The shots were amazing and is only inspiring me more to find more places to chase stars. The next new moon is September 30th, so we’ll be looking for a new spot hopefully for some camping and more astrophotography!
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