Super Moon

Saturday I decided to get out of the house and go shoot the 'super moon'...well, not really. I don't have enough lens for that. So I ventured out to the Never Summer Wilderness in North central Colorado in hopes of scouting out a location for the milky way this month. I've been up to this location many times in my life, I have fond memories of riding our fourwheelers all over these trails when I was younger, but only now do I think about how certain spots would look with the milky way behind them. 

On my way up the Poudre canyon I stopped at a spot I thought had some potential, as I was exploring the area I ran across this car that had gone over the cliff a very long time ago, I wish I knew the story behind it.

 

The location I wanted to get to is over 12,000ft so I had no expectation of reaching the summit this early in the year, but I had a slim amount of hope because of the severely low snowpack the mountains have this year. I was surprised to make it over 11,000 feet before the snow drifts prevented me from going any further. I wish I had more pictures of the snow banks I had to go through to get this far but I was lazy. I just ordered a Canon S100 point and shoot camera so I can take more snapshots without pulling out the D700.

Here was the overlook I was rewarded with after the long drive, the peak in the middle is Parika peak, I'm not finding names for the others. This will be a decent spot for the milky way as it looks directly South, so I will be returning, maybe even this month.

 

I decided I would hang around for sunset as the clouds were looking very promising for an epic show, I had plenty of time to kill so I spent it shooting waterfalls and wildflowers...rough life right?

 

After the 2 hour wait I was not rewarded with colorful clouds, this was the 'big' show

But I noticed the clouds were lighting up to the East of me, of course I had nothing interesting as a subject for the east but I did remember there was a nice view a couple miles down the trail, so off I went desperately hoping the colors would hang on long enough. I managed to reach the viewpoint just as the clouds were losing their color, a few minutes earlier and this would have been amazing.

I still had well over an hour to wait before the super moon rose over the mountains, so I ventured to a lower elevation and found a nice campspot. I chowed down some lunch meat and pineapple (my sorry excuse for a paleo dinner) and waited patiently in the dark. Finally the moon rose and did what I could with a 70-300 on a full sensor camera (not much), this is very cropped to get it this big.

Pitiful, I know. 

After a cold but comfortable night in the 4runner I ventured down the canyon and snapped few pictures of the budding aspens

A pretty successful scouting trip I'd say!