On the first day of our trip, we drove most of the day and arrived in our campsite late at night. Before we went to sleep, I admired the wide open sky, the bright moonlight, and the stars. I quickly set up my tripod and camera, programmed the camera to take photos for the next several hours, and went to sleep.
For such a fast set-up, I was very happy with the outcome! This is a series of exposures spanning 3 hours. It's easy to see how people who lived a long time ago didn't know whether the universe was spinning around the Earth or vice versa.
It was about 17°F when we woke up so we stayed snuggled in the sleeping bags for a long time until the sun warmed our campsite a little. This was our view as the sun rose.
When we finally got moving, it was time to break out the dog boots. That is not Shyla's favorite part of the desert. I might try, yet again, to find a kind that she likes better.
When she got moving, she tended to forget about her boots and have fun!
We knew that the area had received a decent amount of rain over the year. Yet, I was still very surprised to find desert "pot holes" filled with water deeply enough that Shyla could swim in them! Actually, if I'd been on my toes, I would've stopped her. These pot holes have delicate organisms in them that lie dormant for long periods of time waiting for water so that they can live. It's bad to mess with the pot hole water because it hurts those organisms - and, thus, I usually keep Shyla out of it.
This time, before I was aware of what was happening, Shyla actually broke a thin layer of ice to go for a swim in a pot hole. It was her one and only swim during our trip. I was on my toes after that!
She shook and then ran to me, her "desert swimming" fun over.
As we descended toward camp, I looked up behind us. The butte where we'd been playing had cool wavy clouds above it.
Alas, we didn't plan that first day very well. It was almost time for sunset by the time we'd biked and then had lunch. There were still stars to be watched...