Thursday, August 11, 2011

Starry, Starry Night

When I look up into the sky on any given night in LA, all I see is an orange glow.  No stars.  No nuthin’.   Joshua Tree National Park is a 2 to 3 hour drive outside of the city and my favorite place to stargaze. 
Last year I drove to Joshua Tree with a few friends to watch the Orionid meteor shower. “Orionid” just means that during this particular annual shower, the meteors appear to be emanating from the Orion constellation.  Most meteor showers occur when the earth travels through a comet’s debris path (Haley’s comet in Orionid’s case).  As the debris crashes into earth’s atmosphere we see bright lights streak across the sky – as a kid you knew them as shooting stars.
I had such a great time last year that I was hoping it would become a tradition.  As with most hopes, I took it upon myself to see it fulfilled.  Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I drove out to Joshua Tree with my husband and friends Patrick and Rachel in tow to watch the Perseid meteor shower.  Constellation: Perseus. Comet: Swift-Tuttle.
After a few unexpected adventures (a note to California roadway engineers: you make it easy to get off the freeway; could you try remembering that we must eventually find our way back on?) and lessons (did you know that it is creepy to whistle in a rest stop bathroom in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night? I didn’t.) we made it to the park.  The feeling you get when you step out of the car, look up into the sky, and see millions of stars where a few hours earlier there was nothing but an orange glow… ah, that is a good feeling.
We blew up a couple air mattresses, laid back, and watched the sky fall.
Patrick made a valiant attempt to fuel our adventure with coffee.

Black and Decker fell through on this one, so I drank Red Bull and whiskey instead.
{ Cup reads: Best Meteor Shower Ever }

The sun came up fast and hot.  The feeling you get when you look around and know that there is no one else around for miles… ah, that is also quite a good feeling.

Joshua Tree offers more than just stargazing.  Another favorite activity is rock scrambling or bouldering.  Before heading back to the city, we did a little scrambling to the top of this nearby rockpile...

We did not want to leave, but alas, it was over 80 degrees before 7a.m.  It was back to LA for the 4 of us.

What were you doing yesterday morning at 3am?  Well, officer, I was laying on the desert floor in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park watching a meteor shower.  What were YOU doing?


  1. Damn, those pics look sweet! So does this whole blog for that matter. How long has this existed? I have some back issues to read.

  2. Yay!! Great pics and comments girl! and yes it IS creepy to whistle in bathrooms! lol What a great time! xoRL