When I bought this van I am lucky enough to have, I had 1 place in mind. That place is the Outlaw Campground near Kaycee Wyoming. I was lucky enough to visit there before, but nothing more. I knew it is someplace I would love to stay the night. It also has some of the darkest skies in our country. Not only was I lucky enough to visit again, but this time I spent time, and an overnight there. I ran 2 cameras all night, taking pictures. I did everything I dreamed. Sunset, night, sunrise, pics from the roof of the van, off-road 4WD, everything I imagined. So grateful.
This is another time lapse I made during the new moon of June 2022. Not as many frames as I would like, the lens fogged over while I slept in my van. Talk about lazy.
I made the below time lapse video of an overnight I spent in Driftwood PA for the new moon in May 2022. I love it so much.
What a whirlwind 36 hours I had for last month’s new moon. The new moon at the end of May 2022 will be one I remember always. The skies were perfectly clear for days. I wanted to take some pictures. I spent the holiday weekend 5 hours south of home in St Mary’s County Maryland. Then I drove home to work for the end of the month. After a full day of work on Tuesday, I drove 5 hours north of home, from Newark DE to Driftwood PA. I Have been wanting to visit Bucktail Overlook, Top of the World, since my buddy Nate told me about it. The skies are dark there. I left work at 5pm and arrived in Driftwood at 10pm. I took pics until 3am, then slept until 5am. I got up to shoot the sunrise. I had this entire amazing place to myself for 8 hours. Everything went perfectly. After sunrise I drove back home, another 5ish hours. I stopped for breakfast at Bings Diner.
I was not planning on going away this particular weekend, definitely not traveling anywhere on the Memorial Day holiday weekend 2022. Then my wife told me she had plans to horse around all weekend, and encouraged me to take a couple of days away in my CAMperVAN. She must have horsin’ around plans with her boyfriend.
I know CAM is over but I just can’t stop myself from continuously Caching Across Maryland.
I happened to notice the other day that Sunday 5/29/2022 was going to be the 10th year anniversary of my first geocache find. My wife and I had heard about geocaching years before, and had done it. But I had never made up an Internet account for it until that day. I left out of Cecil County early Saturday and it took me 14 hours to get 3 hours from home. My favorite kind a road trip. I ended for the evening at Point Lookout on the tip of Maryland to photograph the night sky…new moon. I stopped a lot along the way over 14 hours. I targeted old CAM hides, old in general, FYC, and question marks pre-2010 for a challenge I was working on. Lots of other stuff got in my way as well.
That’s the whole truth. I know it’s true. I made it up myself. And I impart it to you.
We packed up all our stuff for my wife’s first getaway in my campervan. We started in Lexington Kentucky for some fancy horse dancing event that she loves. It was the Kentucky 3-day 5-star event. A real equestrians dream. In my house we call it Rolex not Rolex. After that went to spend some time in the Smokies.
Day one was spent getting to Western Maryland where we spent the night in a very quiet rest area. A couple of gentlemen in the car next to us were there all night also. I don’t think their wives would have been happy.
Day two was a leisurely morning getting up, followed by driving most of the day to Lexington Kentucky. We made the usual pitstops for tinkling and geocaching. Travel days are great days to fill in calendar dates with unusual types of hides. Throughout the trip I was able to check off question marks and multis during all travel days.
Once we arrived in Lexington the real horsing around fun began. We spent Saturday and Sunday watching horsie jumpers at the horse park. I had much more fun than I imagined. What a fun and unique experience I was lucky enough to experience. In between horse jumpings, I found a bunch of nearby caches. This was definitely a 5-Star weekend for The Kid!
On Monday after the horse event, we climbed all over the Via Ferrata in Kentucky. That is 3 that we have done in the US, with hopes to one day do all the Via Ferrata’s in the US. It was amazing, and definitely the most difficult of the 3 we have done. We spent the night in Compton before heading to Tennessee for a week in the Smokies.
While in Tennessee we did all the perfect tourist stuff. We saw 2 of the shows, ate at the famous places, spent a day in Dollywood, and spent a bunch of time in Smoky National Park. I spent 2 nights in the park in my campervan, taking night time and sunrise pictures, while my wife stayed at the Dollywood hotel. Lucky girl.
One day we spent driving Cades Cove, and it was amazing! The weather was perfect, and we had 3 different bear spottings. I was finally able to use the widow’s peak on my adventure van for photography purposes! It was a dream come true.
Apparently I never posted anything here about this Cannonball Run. The pictures have been up since I got back. Last august I went stir crazy, had enough, and drove cross-country with a couple friends. We made it as far west as West Yellowstone, and then spent about a week in Yellowstone. Those two bozos flew home after a week, and I took my time driving back. If it was up to me, I’d have never made it. Sadly, I can’t convince my wife to get the dogs and horses and join me. I stopped in and visited many National Parks and Monuments on the way back home through, Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. Sadly the California wildfires of the time ruined most of the trip for photography. I was able to get a few days in the beginning, but after that, the skies were wrecked.
Below are a few, but if you want to see all the pictures, they are HERE if you are interested.
I went all the way north to Potter County, Coudersport, PA a few weeks ago for the last new moon. Me and my favorite Juggalo, John, drove the 5+ hours each way to try and take pictures of the dark sky, stars, and the galactic center and band. We got up there a day early and the weather was nice, but the sky was completely cloudy with no chance of seeing stars. The next day, which was the actual new moon night was perfect. Clear skies all day and night. We woke up bright and early from our sleeping bags and tent and spent the entire day driving around the area looking for places and times to take pictures. The scouting was a huge success. We found a few geocaches during the day, which lead us to some great spots to photograph the night sky goodness. We ended up at 4 different locations throughout the night, as the galactic band/center moved across the sky. I am very pleased with some of the astro-photos I was able to make, being so new to astrophotography. There are some pictures HERE if you are interested.
My buddy John and I went to the Pinnacle in Holtwood, PA for the last new moon a couple weeks ago. This is one of the highlight spots of the Conestoga Trail. The hopes were to find some place dark enough for star photos. We did not get anything amazing because the clouds kept coming through. But we did end up with a couple of lightening strikes and some nice dark sky shots. It wasn’t the greatest, but we had a lot of fun goofing off and I did end up with a few decent photos.