It was the second night of my stay at the Joshua Tree NP and the weather report was a harmless partially cloudy sky. The “partial” part turned out to be between the East and South skies where the core of the Milky Way was. Of course I had to leave the comfort of my room at 4 AM to find this out. With nothing more to do, I drove up to cap rock to wait an hour and a half for the sunrise. It was a beautiful sight, but nevertheless a consolation prize. Here is a little bit of sunshine before moving on.
Later, to make things worse, high winds were forecast from 7 PM till the next afternoon with reduced visibility. I wanted to ditch my current plans and go to Death Valley or Zion NP except for it was more partially cloudy skies which I was not willing to trust. I was starting to get worried(to put it mildly) at this point with two nights of no result for the Atlantic crossing. But, decided to stay put and trust the clear nights that were forecast for later in the week.
Photographs of the Milky Way arch over the Arch Rock was an inspiration for me picking Joshua Tree NP. I soon found out that not all spots in the NP are open in the night including Arch Rock. The tourist centre gave me the bad news that the non-frowned way to photograph that is to get a spot at the White Tank camp field to which it “belongs”. Unless of course, I am shameless to wake up all the camping ground by driving in at 3 in the morning and park in a no-parking zone. I had to do it the right way and I drove up to White Tank and talked to the ones who had camping spots on how it worked. It is a rudimentary method really. When someone leaves their spot, you claim it. Now, all that was left to try my luck the next day. A tip if you are heading for the Arch rock from White Tank. If you are walking for more than 5 minutes from the parking/camping spots, you are quite possibly in the wrong direction. It took around 30 minutes of wandering for this piece of wisdom!
So, until the next post with the Milky Way and Arch rock, have an awesome weekend!