Copper Falls State Park – Sunset & Astro

Copper Falls State Park - Astrophotography over Loon Lake

Home base for the past couple of days has been Copper Falls State Park.  I skipped them on this trip in favor of other destinations (see old posts here, don’t skip these if you’ve never visited before) but the weather did give me an opportunity for some fantastic night photography.  Clear Sky Charts confirm this … Read more

Lost Lake Astrophotography

Lost Lake – Astrophotography in Tipler, Wisconsin

Sleep was paused for my final night at Lost Lake Campground in Tipler, Wisconsin.  Night skies were cooperative and outer space was revealing her secrets.  Views from the camp beach with a beer in hand – pretty hard to beat. While the naked-eye views were spectacular, sadly my camera shots were blocked by the wispy … Read more

Joshua Tree – Belle Campground Astrophotography

Joshua Tree - Belle Campground Astrophotography

Skies were looking a little “iffy” tonight so I just chilled at the campgrounds lazily trying for astro photos.  Early on skies were mostly clear.  No galactic core this time of year but it never gets old sitting under dark skies. (Don’t forget to click photos for detailed full-screen views!) Wispy clouds started rolling in from … Read more

Joshua Tree – Stars at Pinto Basin

Joshua Tree - Stars at Pinto Basin

While my first day at Joshua Tree National Park was mostly driving and setting up camp, my first night I spent at Pinto Basin pullout trying to capture the stars.  A park suggested by a ranger at the visitor center because it’s the darkest part of the park.  I spent several hours sitting and waiting … Read more

Rock Island State Park – Astrophotography

Rock Island State Park - Astrophotography

Took a short “nap” after sunset and woke again around 11:30pm.  Hiked back to the area north of the boathouse for astro photos.  Developing these has taught me some interesting lessons for 2019 but wish I had more chances to play last year.  Unfortunately this is the single best image from about 1-2 hours of … Read more

Newport State Park – Astrophotography

Newport State Park - Astrophotography

This is the moment I drove across the state for.  New camera lens, dark skies, clear weather.  Time to glimpse into outer space. (Reminder: Click each image for a larger full-screen view, best seen on a large PC monitor) My first viewpoint was right on the beach at Europe Bay.  I saw more people here … Read more

Death Valley – Texas Springs Pt. 2

Death Valley - Stars over Texas Springs campground

Back at Texas Springs campground for one more night.  Tomorrow I had planned to check out a backcountry campsite but as usual plans change (more on that later).  Tent held up well until around midnight when the winds kicked up an started gusting to 40mph.  I was only able to pound 6 stakes and my … Read more

Death Valley – Texas Springs Campground

Death Valley - Astrophotography at Texas Springs campground

Returned to camp after watching the sunset at Zabriskie Point.  Hours of driving made me quite tired, but clear skies & views of the stars granted me a second wind.  I wasn’t getting cell service anywhere in the park except at the campground, and even then it was like 2 bars of 3G.  Still enough … Read more

Wildcat Mountain State Park

Wildcat Mountain State Park - Night sky shot from Wildcat Mountain State Park site 106 over site 104

The second stop on my fall tour was Wildcat Mountain State Park.  I lost time trying to select a camping site and didn’t get much hiking in here, and instead of cranking out the mileage I did the short Observation Point Trail and watched the sun slowly fall beneath the horizon. Due to lack of … Read more

Mirror Lake State Park

Mirror Lake State Park - Northwest Trail

After leaving Iowa, I headed back towards central Wisconsin. My initial thought was to hit up Devils Lake, but after finding swarms of people & lack of camping I decided this was a bad idea for my spontaneous agenda. Drove around for a while searching for smaller lesser-known areas but my cell service cut out … Read more