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Last night I hiked to the top of the mountain to get the fantastic shot of the year. Hmm … that didn’t happen. After I got over my self-congratulations at making it to the top (really, it was a hefty hike with my photo backpack & small bottle of water), I casually wondered how I would get off the mountain in the dark. While waiting for the moon to rise, I enjoyed the expanse of the valley of houses below me and the glorious colors as the sun set in the desert. Around 7:10 PM the highly anticipated moon began to rise. On the top of the mountain, I was not able to move my tripod to a position to get the shot I wanted. In this shot below, we see the rising moon next to one of the mountains. You can see the homes in the foothills.

I wasn’t satisfied and tried to get a closer shot.

By this time, I was thinking “Holy Cow, how am I gonna get off this mountain without falling, breaking my leg, hitting my head on a boulder, and lying here all night?” (Actually my language was much more colorful … remember? I teach teenagers who are comfortable emitting gutter language and I have found the trashy words flying out of my mouth.) Just to cover my bases, I had texted my son who can track my cell phone and call out the calvary if needed.

With the help of my tiny flashlight that I keep in my photo backpack, I made it safely to the base of the mountain. I waited. I waited. I sat on a lawn chair. I ate an apple. I ate some chocolate. Still that moon did not rise above the mountain … the one I’d just descended.

I decided that this was ridiculous, got in my pretend SUV and headed out of the mountain park. As soon as I passed the gate (“Do not back up! Your tires will be punctured!”) I saw THE MOON peaking around the edge of the mountain.

I parked illegally (totally out of character for me) and pulled out the tripod & Nikon.

And now you have it: My adventures with the moon on the mountain. But, to my dismay, I did not get that award-winning shot of the orange-tinged moon rising over the horizon. So, to soothe my bruised ego, I finished the night with a juicy hamburger topped with corned beef and swiss cheese, accompanied by a cooling dark beer. Good Night Moon.

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