The glorious darkness afforded us by locating ourselves in the Black Rock Desert was about to be put to damn good use. I had done just enough research to realize that we'd be graced with a big moonrise that could be placed strategically with the geographical features at our disposal. So with a metric fuckton of camera gear and at least two-thirds of our group being at least moderately interested in photo fun, we planned to stay past dark to enjoy the show.
With the memories of the prior night's pre-moonrise glow fresh in my mind, I sat back for a bit and just enjoyed where we were. As the minutes ticked by, though, I got anxious and spent some time wandering around scouting locations and fiddling with gear. As the show progressed, more and more stars came out to play, and then the Milky Way became apparent in all her glory.
Milky Way and impending moonrise
Not long thereafter, the familiar moonglow appeared on the eastern horizon, and it brightened gradually until the moon burst forth. Fortunately, I had done my math well.
Well-sated, we packed up, piled back into the truck, and began the brutal first leg of the trip back to camp. The detour we took to avoid the wet sections of playa was barely passable as a dirt road, and we were all thoroughly rattled by the time we hit the smooth playa. The relative silence and smoothness of this surface was a real trip at midnight; I recall being mesmerized by the flat horizon and inability to really sense that we were blasting along at 60mph. Upon reaching camp after a long evening and a longer day, we fell into the hot springs for a bedtime dip and crashed hard.
These 3 photos, which are fairly special to me, conclude what I've got to share from this trip to the Black Rock. It's a pretty unreal place and it holds a unique place in my heart. I can safely say that I know of no other place that tickles me quite like this.
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