If you follow my blog or facebook postings with any regularity, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been a on a water kick for a while now. Zoomed out a bit, it’s really a water/rock/stars kick, with a tree or two thrown in here or there for good measure. Last week, on a day that had started very cloudy but cleared quickly just before sunset, I allowed the winds of caprice to push me all the way to Cannon Beach, Oregon for some star photos of the iconic Haystack Rock, something I had been wanting to do for quite a while. It was a new moon (meaning: no moon) and it was clear and cold.
As usual, my first stop was Ecola State Park, which I had almost all to myself.* Most of the sky was deliciously cloud-free, except for a few stubborn ones lying low on the western horizon. The Milky Way was beautiful and arched overhead from west to east.
* This isn’t exactly true. While taking some long exposures at the overlook, I could see a few people with flashlights down on Indian Beach, which kind of freaked me out when I later went to Indian Beach. Did I mention just how dark it was out there?
I shot a handful of photos at the overlook before heading to Indian Beach, which was especially creepy in the dark. I took a few more photos as the surf crashed, and then I hiked back up to my car.
Some clouds had rolled in, and after warming myself for several minutes in my car, I very nearly headed back home (it was, after all, about 8:30 pm at this point, which is nearing my bed time). Instead I decided to make the short drive to Cannon Beach to check out the lay of the land.
I was glad I did. By the time I parked, the clouds had cleared entirely, and I had Cannon Beach to myself on a 38-degree night. Eventually, some clouds rolled in low on the horizon again, and I saw a dozen or more shooting stars (but somehow managed to not catch any on camera). I did, however, manage to take an unintentionally super-creepy self-portrait (see the last image below)