Wandering Eye: Dark Skies Country
Contrary to our usual way of perceiving the world, you really can see more in the dark. Away from the city clutter and far from de bruit of the 24-hour news cycle, I found myself standing in a freezing parking lot looking up at the stars which were, frankly, out-glamming the flora and fauna of the day. (Note: after hearing the raucous coyote football game going on in the woods, I chose a less isolated area to shoot in.)
The expansiveness was humbling. Knowing that I was actually seeing a 3 dimensional tableau with thousands of points of light and having that register in my brain were two different things. It was distracting and hard to know where to focus and this was just one arc of the visible sky. But stillness and patience and alertness were rewarded with clarity and the occasional captured shooting star (or airplane). Then there was the unexpected feeling of reassurance that comes with the reminder that we too are part of the larger expanse being from and of one of these little pinpricks of light.
Boundaries - real and manmade - in the natural world are only obstacles until we find a way to transverse them. Ocean, land, sky, and space, one by one we've traveled farther than we thought possible often risking the wrath, or disappointment, of those left behind. On an earth this small and interdependent, insularity is no longer an option if it ever truly was. So, we voyage onwards foregoing everything from minor comforts to hard won safety and security. Brief road trip and lengthy excursion alike re-affirm a fundamental desire and need to explore, better ourselves, and make connections beyond our sphere. For me, traveling will always be the search for those brilliant guideposts best seen in the dark.
Enchanted Rock SP-005Information pavillion at base of Summit Trail leading to Enchanted Rock Enchanted Rock SP-008One of several North American batholiths including Georgia's Stone Mountain and California's Sierra Nevada (Half Dome) Enchanted Rock SP-020 Enchanted Rock SP-025 Enchanted Rock SP-049Mini car sized boulders on top of Enchanted Rock Enchanted Rock SP-112View from Scenic View Trail at sunset. Enchanted Rock SP-141 Enchanted Rock SP-144Evening star EnchantedRock astro -005Star field above Enchanted Rock with Milky Way visible to the naked eye. EnchantedRock astro -006Light pollution is intentionally limited in Dark Shy designated parks and reserves. Enchanted Rock SP-149A lone coyote roamed near the campsites at night but kept its distance. Enchanted Rock SP-159Camp site had a covered picnic area with a table for four. Close access to parking from across a small bridge. Enchanted Rock SP-176Interpretive Loop Trail Enchanted Rock SP-191
Keywords: Dark Sky Area, Dark Sky Place, Dark Sky Preserve, Enchanted Rock, astrophotography, boulders, camping, car-camping, hiking, milky way, natural formations, night photography, outdoors, photography, politics, solo travel, stars, state park, travel, travel blog, travel photography, women travel, women travelers, world view
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