Portal to the Stars

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had a fun long week-end in Moab, Utah with friends Alex and Theresa chasing the stars. Our goal was to shoot the Milky Way at Corona Arch, but the first night was really cloudy so we switched locations and hoped for a nice sunset instead.
The next evening we hiked up to Corona Arch with a new friend we met that morning up at Delicate Arch. We started the hike up to the Arch at just about 7 P.M. The outside temperature was 101 degrees. You start climbing straight-away up a dirt and rocky path which soon levels out and meanders through a canyon; you cross one set of railroad tracks then continue up the path. Soon the path gives way to sandstone and red rock. You hike across a steep rock with a well-worn path, and a cable to hold onto then you begin to climb up the canyon wall following the cairns that tell you you’re on the right trail.
Not too long after you leave the cable behind you comes to another cable that helps you climb a much steeper, but short rock. There are shallow foot holes cut into the rock face that make the 15 foot climb much easier. With that challenge behind us we continue on a short distance and are met with another steep rock to climb. There’s a ladder there to help or you can hike up and around it which is what I did this trip. By now you are hundreds of feet high above the canyon floor hiking across the canyon wall on a huge slip rock ridge that with a gentle uphill slope that leads you right to the Arch.
The 1.5 mile hike up to the Arch is packed full with fun and challenging terrain.

Alex had checked our calculations for the night shoot before we left the hotel using Stelliarum so we had a pretty good idea of where the Milky Way was going to rise. We set up and waited for it to get dark enough to see it.
The temperature started cooling off about 9 P.M. and by 9:30 P.M. it was dark enough to see more and more stars popping out bright against the darkening sky.

Theresa brought

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