November 6, 2014

Stargazing in Joshua Tree, California

Happy November! I went to see Interstellar a few days ago (which I wrote a review about), and boy, was that a suspenseful film. It was almost a nice rest editing these photos and looking at those blue, blue skies.

Joshua Tree is one of those places that makes you feel peaceful and calm. Amidst all of those twisted branches and dust is a sense of quiet that you don't find in many places -- at least not while living in LA.

It's a place that my family and I have been visiting for years. We always buy an annual pass and go back as often as we can, whether it's to hike, climb some rocks, or catch some stars after the sun sets. It's got some amazing sights and one gnarly hike via Mt. Ryan. It's not particularly long, but if you're out of shape like I am, it's difficult to get up without feeling like you can't breathe.

This time around, I went with my friend Mariana. We left LA in the afternoon and made it to Joshua Tree a few hours before sunset. We set off for a hike before running to catch the sunset and some amazing views of a starry sky. 

First up, was the Hidden Valley trail. It's really easy, as it's basically just a nature walk through a loop in the desert. Definitely good if you're not feeling up to the mountain hikes!

I love this tree. A few years ago, my family and I came here and took a family photo. I set up the camera on self timer on a rock that's right across (it looks like lips!). Possibly one of my favorite family photos. 

We climbed up above a little cave and ventured about the rocks there. This was the gorgeous view -- it's not up very high, but it allows you to see the trail and all of the backpackers weaving through the brush.

After sitting on top of a rock and catching up for a while, we dashed off to Keys View to see the sunset. The great part about this area is that you can see mountains for miles and look out over Coachella Valley.

According to the website, if it's a really clear day (most likely after it rains when the haze isn't so bad), you can see all the way to Mexico. One day, I'd love to come back here and be able to see that -- how very cool!

For some reason, I thought it was so funny to see all of these people sitting along the mountainside to catch the sunset. They looked like little mountain people in one big community coming together for some sort of group adventure.

We were very serious about our photography game, as you can tell. 

Mariana got these cool shots of me, and I think they look like Northface ads!  

Once the sun had set, we drove a little ways away to get away from all of the cars and wait for the stars to come out. It took a good while for it to get dark enough, but the sights were breathtaking. Stargazing is something that I don't get to do often enough, but when you's awesome.

I even tried to get some photos, though they're blurry and not the best. I didn't have a tripod with me, so I propped the camera up on the car and held the shutter down, hoping that nothing would move. 

And this beauty! I think that cluster on the bottom left might be the big dipper? A tree is blocking the last point, but it looked like it so I snapped a photo. If not, it's still a really cool picture, and I'm quite proud of it!

Oh Joshua Tree, you never fail to amaze me.

(Also, big thanks to Mariana for some of these photos -- most of the photos of me are from her camera!)

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  1. GORGEOUS photos... the sky looks amazing! the photos of the sky are so pretty... especially that last one, wow! We get a good view of the stars here where I live... I really need to go outside, lay on a blanket and just admire all the prettiness :)


  2. Ahhh thank you thank you! Gah, if I could see enough stars at home, I'd be outside every night. There is something breathtakingly pretty about a starry sky, that's for sure :)


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