: : : Oregon Trail Magic

  • 22
  • Sep
  • 2012

personal vagabond

On my journey to Colorado from Oregon, I stopped along the way and did a little camping. Never really knowing exactly what I’m getting into (especially in regard to campgrounds — not knowing where exactly I’ll stop along the way), I was hoping there’d be a space available at the Three Island Crossing Campground. I wanted to stop in Glenns Ferry, Idaho particularly because of the Oregon Trail history there and, of course, the beautiful Snake River. After yet another tire-blowout incident an hour from my destination, I arrived at the campground much later than anticipated — after dark, actually. This makes setting up a tent a little more fun, especially when the flashlight dies. This also only further proved that making any kind of solid plans while traveling is ultimately futile. Go with the flow, people. You learn that lesson very well while living in Italy, but that’s a story for another day.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. -Lao Tzu

Initially, I hoped the awful smoke from nearby forest fires would clear enough for me to be able to do a little hiking. Alas, it was smokey as ever the entire drive from Oregon, so I settled for a shorter-trail-night-walk with a new, young New Jerseyan friend, my camping neighbor. This was after a thorough creepster check (you know, encouraging enough conversation to ensure the person doesn’t appear to be a psychopath); I politely asked if he would escort and protect me from wild cats, bears, and Sasquatch while I went for a little night stroll. I know, ballsy. Whatever. My intuition about people has proved reliable. I learned that he was an amateur photographer and loved photographing stars. Not really ever learning or experimenting enough to create an image that looks anything close to cool, he schooled me in the ways of night photography. I ended up using my iPhone to paint/illuminate the tree foreground. This is one of seven images I photographed that night — thirty second exposures, each. The silliest end to this amazing night was realizing that I was the least scared of our duo out in the wilderness that evening and that I pretty much had to talk reason into my new friend as we trekked back to camp. I gave myself major points for that, as you can imagine.

And this concludes the reading for today.

Do you have any secret, special tips for shooting stars? Or even shooting shooting stars?

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