This past weekend (Jan 24th), I had the opportunity to visit Joshua Tree, California for the first time. I had always heard about or seen amazing photos, but I wanted to go for myself. I’m a part time adventurer and my beard automatically qualifies me to be in the wilderness.
I called up my cousin asked her if she’d like to go. Boom. Just like that we’re on our way to Joshua tree around 6pm that day. But not before stopping for gas, food, and headlamp LED lights, because clearly we were prepared. The drive is about two hours from Downtown LA which isn’t bad at all. The 10 East then to Highway 62. The entire drive I was like a kid, so excited for the sky to open up to me so I could see all of the stars masked by the light pollution (and air pollution) of the city. However, as we were getting closer, I started to feel uneasy because the sky was pretty much covered with clouds. How could this be?? My weather app said the sky would be clear! Don’t panic Vaughn, I’m sure it’ll be fine.
Once we get inside Joshua Tree we find the first place to pull over, known as “exhibit areas,” and hop out with excitement. First of all, the silence was deafening; something I noticed immediately. I could see the Moon’s hazy presence behind cloud cover and once again I felt defeated…until I looked to the South. I could clearly see the stars in the sky underneath the sharp horizon of cloud cover. This gave me hope.
After walking and driving around the park for about an hour with no other people in sight, I look up and the universe blessed me with a clear sky full of recognizable constellations and planets. It was about 10:30pm and I was in absolute amazement at the sky. Not my first time looking into space in a remote location, but stargazing never gets old to me. This is when I really started shooting the sky.
We spent the next hour just driving along the only road in the park. I could’ve stayed there all night looking at the sky. Below are some of the shots I took (all were taken with the light of the moon only). If you have the chance to get to Joshua Tree, it’s definitely worth it.