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I arrived in Las Vegas on the flight from Inverness via London. The first step of my two weeks travelling around some of Americas best known National parks. I have come in search of the incredible night skies in the area and the possibilities they open up to night time photography. I love night time photography in Scotland but it is only about once a month that the conditions are right. So, here it seems incredible that night after night is clear and warm.

I picked up a rental car after a quick night stop in Las Vegas. I will admit that, although I am curious to see Las Vegas, it doesn’t really hold my interest, so I drove straight out first thing  in the morning. I had heard that in order to get a camp spot in any of the National parks you have to arrive early. So I ended up shopping at Walmart at 6 am to buy some camping gear which cost in total £80. I am going to have to leave it when I fly home so I didn’t want to invest in much. I arrived at The Valley of Fire around 8.30am and what a treat to have the roads all to myself and a choice of camping spots. I had already chosen the Arch Rock campsite to stay at so headed straight over there. With the help of the ranger I found an empty space next to a rock which meant I could face north with no one ( and their annoying lights and fires ) in my vision.

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With the afternoon free after setting up, I  went for a drive and a walk by white boulders. Only  short walk, but the heat was alarming. I was well equipped with water and cover up but I could imagine how easy it would be to get caught out here. After that experience I decided to stick to my usual plan of sleeping during the day and making full use of the sunset, night and sunrise times.

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So, then I spent my first night in the Valley of fire under the stars. What an experience! The clear skies are just amazing and it makes a change not to be battling rain, wind and cold and clouds back in Scotland. I didn’t sleep much as I was just so amazed by the sights around me and excited to be able to shoot stars and timelapse from just outside my tent.

Vlley of fire arch rock campground camping at night

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