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.
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.
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.