I'm back from my fabulous trip to Lone Pine, CA via Death Valley. It was so awesomely wonderful that I'm not sure I can find the right adjectives... the scenery in Death Valley was beyond anything I had imagined. The terrain and geological makeup changed every 15 miles or so, and at times it looked like I was on a different planet - truly spectacular and jaw-dropping.
Getting up for sunrise photos and then staying out at night for hours on end in the cold makes for an exhausting experience - exhilarating but exhausting. I took the red eye home from Las Vegas (arrived in Milwaukee at 5:15 a.m.) - it was brutal and exacerbated the whole sleep deprivation situation. Slept 14 hours Wednesday night, 12 hours Thursday night. I'm hoping that a nap today will get me all caught up.
I haven't yet had the time to examine the photos I took (over 1000 of them!) and will post some eventually. But, in the mean time, here's a shot I took one night in Death Valley. I was able to stand in the middle of the road because we didn't see a single car during the entire 6 hours we were out there! On the left side of the picture you can detect the beginnings of star trails. I was actually going for a still shot (read: no star trails), and the exposure seems correct for this for the stars in the right half of the shot, anyway, as they appear as distinct points. But the stars on the left are closer to true north and so, as they move (or, more accurately, as the earth rotates), the trails they leave are much closer together, more concentric.
Scotty's Castle Road, just south
of Mesquite Spring.