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Entries in stars (2)


stars glow at the dark lighthouse

I spent some time this holiday weekend exploring my new state of Minnesota and took a drive up to Duluth and Lake Superior.  I planned on spending the day in Duluth, but just kept driving north along the western shore of Lake Superior stopping along the way to take some photos.  State Highway 61 hugs the shore all along the way, passing through a few small towns.  My plan was to make it to Split Rock state park (and lighthouse) by sunset so I spent some time in Two Harbors checking out the steel agate loading docks, and Gooseberry Falls a little further North.

I got to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park just before sunset, then realized that today the Minnesota government shut down (couldn’t reach a budget agreement) so the state parks were closed too.  The entry road was under construction, and since there wasn’t really a gate (just some cones and a wooden barrier), I pulled over on the side of the road and hiked in.  It was probably a little more than a mile walk through the park and down to the bottom of the cliff to get to the vantage point here.  I got here just as the last of the sunlight was striking the lighthouse and cliff.  With the park closed down and no one else there, it was amazingly serene and peaceful.  The only sound was the water gently washing up against the rocks.  I took some photos but even with the great light, there were no clouds which would have made it even better.  Being so clear and not windy, I decided to stay until it go dark enough to photograph the stars with the silhouette of the lighthouse in the background.  It was roughly 7:30pm and using the VelaClock iPhone app, I figured I had to wait until at least 10:45 to get past nautical twilight and it would be dark enough so I just sat on the rocks and watched the light fade listening to the splashing water.

Next trip, I’m looking forward to getting all the way up to the Canadian border and later hopefully to travel the south/eastern portion of the lake in Wisconsin to the Apostle Islands (but may need a kayak for that).

Find it here:  47°12’0” N;  91°22’6” W


Arch Rock - Joshua Tree National Park

This is Arch Rock in Joshua Tree National Park.  It’s just a short 0.3mi walk off the White Tank Campground parking area.  This area is very rocky and I was out in the complete darkness (it was new Moon) for about 2 hours.  I kept freaking myself out thinking I was hearing a mountain lion wandering around out there with me - not that there was, I was just being a chicken, ha ha. 
Taken about a hour after sunset, 2min 50sec exposure.  The bright cluster of stars in the center is the Pleiades and just below that is Taurus and  the star Aldebaran.

I’d like to get back out there sometime soon and find an angle to capture the Milky Way in the background and maybe try out some light painting.

Find it here:   33°59’10” N;  116°0’56” W