I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, ‘go somewhere very dark and watch a meteor shower’ would be on it.
Driving out to the desert, the signs weren’t good. A severe storm darkened the skies. The nice thing about the rain was that the temperature dropped (from 111°F/44°C to 96°F/36°C), but there’d be no stars if the night sky was cloudy.
I rendezvoused up with my Meetup peeps at the Starbucks in Yucca Valley, and we caravanned out to Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree National Park, where we set up camp then went for a walk in the remaining light.
Over a shared meal in the gathering dark, we marvelled at the comfortable temperature and the mostly-cloudless sky. Pads and pillows were dragged from tents, and soon we were all stretched out on the rocks, watching the show.
The Perseids did not disappoint. What can I tell you? It was magic. After an hour, and about 50 meteors, I declared, “OK, now I can die happy.”
I fell asleep long before the parade of light was done. But that was fine; I was sated.
This morning I rose with the sun and struck camp; I had to be back home by 10.
There was time for a little wander, and a few sunrise shots, before hitting the road.
I’m going to say it again: I want to return to Joshua Tree soon and often. Even if there are no meteors: just to see the stars.
And I’m going to save up for a lens with which to shoot them.
My life? I love it.