Milky Way at the Great Basin National Park

The Great Basin National Park is a designated Dark Sky destination – for good reason. Janet and I recently visited the Park during a new moon, and the sky was something to see. I have not seen the Milky Way extend from horizon to horizon in many years. The isolation of the Great Basin National Park caused the ground light to be minimal, there was little wind and no haze in the sky. I took advantage of lessons learned from Mike Berenson and Darren White, leaders of Night Sky Photography Workshops, to make the most of the opportunity. The first photograph in this post shows an old, rusty car frame as a near silhouette beneath the Milky Way. The car was situated alongside the road leading to the Great Basin National Park Visitor Center, and was part of a feature locals called “Road Art”, sometimes whimsical folk art posted to make the drive a little more interesting. The second photo shows a wooden fencepost pointing to the Milky Way. I like the way the post connects earth and sky. The third photograph shows an old threshing machine under the Milky Way. I was raised on the eastern plains of Colorado, and many, many years ago, these machines were used to thresh cereal crops like wheat and sorghum on the hot, dry summer days. I recall not liking the work, but enjoying the company of strong, stoic men and wonderful dinners (always the noon meal on the plains).

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