Monday, April 19, 2021

Apache Junction, Arizona - Lost Dutchman Milky Way

 The park was full. Absolutely full with RVs, camp grounds and the cabins.  I love the cabin location and the fact that there is a warm or cool spot when we are out all night. I ran the location on PhotoPills and our ideal time would be about 2:30 am.  At least we had the cabin and didn't have to crawl inside of a tent or the backseat of the Jeep!  We brought dinner and learned about settings on the cameras, the ones that we did not use so far. I played with white balance shift and bracketing. Very interesting find.

We chatted as we saw bits of the Milky Way slowly rise behind the mountain. It is truly beautiful and exciting to have all of the camera settings ready to capture the event.  Finally, at 2:30, we heard the last "click", folded up the tripods and took everything in to the nice warm cabin.

Nice night!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Furnace Creek, CA - Harmony Borax Works

Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley National Park, California.
Look close and you can see the huge wagons.  20 mules pulled them
These "big teams" pulled massive wagons hauling borax from the Harmony Borax Works near Furnace Creek to the railhead near Mojave, a grueling 165 mile, ten day trip across primitive roads. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Hoover Dam, AZ - Lake water is low

I took the new road to cross the border from Arizona to Nevada plus a little side trip to go check out the dam and see how the water is doing. You can see that it's low by the white marks around the edge of the water. So a beautiful piece of work and the new bridge, you can see it in the background, is amazing.

Nothing, AZ - The Sign Remains

I like to stop by and take a photograph of the spot merely to record it over time and how it's gone from a hustle bustle place to stop to a decent place to pull over and check on the sign. The big sign is now tilting and I don't think that it will be hanging there for very long. I have photos from when this was a place where you could stop and get food, there was an example of a jail, there were baby rattles and other fun things.

On One stop about 20-24 years ago the man inside explained all about the population of Nothing and how it went from 30 to 50 to 10 to 20 and he went on and on and on. This was on a trip with hockey players, and so I think I stop here just to remind them to stop along the way because nothing is going to be there forever.

Wickenburg, AZ - Meet at McDonald’s

When the group is heading north, north west it's easiest to plan to meet in Wickenburg. There are several large parking lots such as McDonald's and a Burger King that are on the right side of the road for pulling in, grabbing a coffee, and making a pitstop.

Step outside of the car and take a deep breath.  The smell of the big city is replaced by the local ranch smells!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Apache Junction, AZ - Night Photography at Lost Dutchman State Park

 Lost Dutchman State Park is located east of Phoenix in Apache Junction.  It sits at the base of the Superstition Mountains, famous as the location of the lost Dutchman's gold mine.  I attended a night photography workshop taught by Beth Ruggiero York through Arizona Highways Photoscapes

It was a clear night and a little chilly as it was February.  The skies were clear and we were able to capture the stars.  Here is a sample of what I did.  An old fashioned western looking panoramic.  A vertical panoramic of the mountain and skies rising and over my head.  A series of seventeen photographs stacked 30 second photographs to show the star trails.  And a single forty minute photograph that captured the grace of the stars as the earth spun.